tv U.S. Senate CSPAN April 11, 2011 8:30am-12:00pm EDT
high marks for looking through the federal warehouse of spectrum to try to bring by my count about 180 megahertz worth of spectrum, to identify that to, hopefully, have us auction that off. not all frequencies and the airwaves are created equally. for broadband it's better to have something under one gigahertz, but technology is advancing, and our spectral efficiency advances every day. so frequencies we thought maybe 10 or 15 years ago weren't valuable or usable, actually are now. and i think that trend should continue for a while. so one silver lining to a spectrum crunch or spectrum exhaustion is that it will spur innovation. we have a lot of technologies coming over the horizon like cognitive radio, software-defined radio, things of that nature that are going to squeeze more efficiency out of the airwaves and really give us new technologies and abilities we can't even fathom right now, and it's a very, very exciting time in wireless. >> host: one of the biggest
users of the spectrum are all the new apps that are out there. now, when it comes to the issue of privacy and apps, new jersey is prosecuting or looking at prosecuting a couple of app creators. how much attention is paid to the issue of privacy at the fcc, and do you hear from a lot of americans about that issue? >> guest: the fcc -- excellent question. the fcc actually does not have a lot of direct jurisdiction over the privacy issue. that's going to be mainly the federal trade commission, department of justice, maybe state privacy laws and their enforcers. under a section -- not to sound too much like a lawyer -- 222 of the communications act for common carriers, there's a customer proprietary information restrictions, and that's kind of our limit on the privacy issue. now, i would say friday freressal -- peripherally we operate in that space, but there are other agencies on the books that govern the privacy issue
which is very important. >> host: lynn stanton, one final question. >> host: if it's the final one, then the government is facing a possible shutdown as we speak. are you an accepted employee? will you be coming into work next week? will you have staff? is. >> guest: excellent question. we are recording this on friday, april 3th, and big talk of a shutdown, a potential shutdown which i'm still optimistic it won't happen. but, yes, interestingly, fcc commissioners are considered essential employees, and i say that with a smile on my face because our staffs are not. now, that's immediate staff in our office, each commissioner office has its own staff and operates independently from the other commissioner offices. there will be a skeleton crew. the central personnel at the commission, you know, focusing on public safety and the most critical of issues, but all five commissioners are supposed to show up for work. but our staffs it's, apparently, against the law for them to show up for work. so it's going to make for an interesting day when i walk into
a cold, dark building and have to make some big decisions. we'll see if i have to actually make any. hopefully not. >> host: robert mcdowell, one of the two republican commissioners on the fcc. thank you, as always, for being on "the communicators." lynn stanton, thank you as well. >> host: thank you. >> ahead on c-span2, israeli deputy foreign minister danny ayalon talks about the current unrest in the middle east. then dolores her that speaks to a national conference of the ywca. >> the u.s. senate returns tomorrow. members gavel in at 10 a.m. eastern for general speeches before taking up two judicial nominations. later this week possible votes on federal funding for planned parenthood and repeal of the health care law as well as approval of friday's agreement on 2011 spending. you can follow the senate live
here on c-span2. >> watch all the events in the current spending debate and the preparations for next year's budget from capitol hill and the house and senate floor to the white house and around washington. online with the c-span video library. search, watch, clip and share with everything we've covered since 1987. it's what you want when you want. [applause] >> now, remarks by israeli deputy foreign minister danny ayalon. he calls israel a spectator in the current political unrest taking place among arab nations. he addressed a meeting of the republican jewish coalition in las vegas earlier this month. >> great pleasure to be here with you. thank you so much for this invitation. matt and david, to be here with you. my appreciation for igc goes beyond words. i have known you for so many years, and you are the, really, the shining bee onon -- beacon
on the hill that directs to morality, to clarity and, i think, to very, very sound politics and ideology which is so much needed in a very confused situation that we face all over the world today. so really my appreciation goes beyond words, and every time you invite me, i will come. i also want to keep inviting you to israel. i know matt is doing great job by bringing you over and, also, american leaders to israel which is, i think, the main, the main instrument to keep the relationship so intimate and lovely. the fact that israel and the united states are natural allies is quite obvious not only on the base of our shared values and ethos and, of course, common interests and facing the same threats, it's also because of the relationship goes beyond just formal government
friendships and alliances. which usually is the case in most international relations. and the united states and israel, i can see from the haven't an point -- vantage point in washington but also now, you go into the grassroots, you go into the communities in the united states, and you feel, really, the appreciation, you feel the respect, you feel the admiration, you feel really the connectivity, understanding that we have really a common destiny together. it is, i never grow tired of listening to my very many friends from the christian community. i mean, the jewish communities we don't, i mean, don't take it -- don't hold it against me, take it for granted. but maybe we shouldn't, you know? especially as michael here used this me shiewg thats from the very left side.
i can tell you one horrifying experience. we come here by way of sacramento, and after meeting with the governor of california, i came out, and there was a stand of people who were vining a petition, you know, boycott israel, sanction israel. and who's there? some nice jewish fellow, and i tried to kind of communicate with him. i asked him, have you been to israel? have you seen what we do, who we are? before that he called us nazis. he said, you are nazis, you're killing babies. i said, have you been to israel to know what we are, who we are? he says, no, i'll never go to israel as long as it's jewish and zionist. i'll be happy to come to israel when it's palestine. how can you reason with such things? so we don't take jewish support for granted anymore, but we are very pleased to have really across the board of the american
social spectrum great, great support from christians. we're also reaching out to hispanic and other minorities in the american society because it's very, very important to keep the relations strong. and i hear it. i hear it everywhere i go as i am beginning to hear in europe. that's all quite interesting is that you are there. israel, you are there not just for yourselves, but also for us. because what you do there is you defend our way of life, you defend our values, you defend our ideology, you defend our future. and i can tell you, the fact that we are being attacked in that region is not because necessarily we're jewish or israeli, it's because we happen to be there, and this is the seam line between civilizations, this is the seam line between
the western civilizations and the radical i loom. -- islam. just like in the other seam lines between radical islam and other faith there is war whether it's in pakistan or in kashmir between hindus and muslims or just like in the balkans or in cher any ya between muslims and greek orthodox or russian orthodox or christians of bosnia. so there is here a common denominator which we have to be aware of it it may not be politically correct to say it, but this is no time for political correctness. this is time for courage, this is time for leadership, this is time to spell out exactly what are the threats. we have been through this before where you put your hand in the sand whether it was in the '30s of last century. it doesn't help. it doesn't put away aggressiveness, it doesn't put away the bullies on the country. it encourages them to move even forward, and then the price of
bringing them down, of defending ourselves is much, much higher. this is the case today with hamas, this is the case with hezbollah, this is the case with iran. this is the case with syria, and this is why it's so important to act on this now when today we can still stop iran quite cheaply. and this is pretty much our message. europeans also begin to understand that, that we are there, and we are being attacked because we represent what they believe in as well. i think what the most staggering shock for european was, you know, i was there at a time when helen thomas made her comment. have you heard of helen thomas from the white house? [laughter] when she said, you know, what do israelis do there, you know? they took palestinian land, you know, they should all go back to europe. let me tell you, there was nothing more shocking for the europeans when they heard they want to send us back to europe. [laughter] finish so since then they became
our best supporters. [laughter] you know, you stay there. you stay there and continue to fight. [laughter] for us. so, so there is, i think there is a silver lining, there is a silver lining in the clouds also when it comes to our pr. which our pr, basically, stinks. you know, we are the first one to understand that. trying to be apologetic, i the the -- i can tell you it's because we're facing a quantity of attackers. you know, we have automatic majority against us. but sometimes, sometimes it takes time to really have the truth come out. i don't know if you saw -- remember the report which was the main delegitimizer of report. well, yesterday they published an article in this washington post saying almost that he was sorry. what he wrote and what he sees now is that israel was not at
fault in the sense that we did not target -- you should read it. you should read it. while it's too late maybe, too little, but better late than never. and now what we urge mr. goldstone in the u.n. is to just as fervently, as strongly as disseminated the goldstone report against israel that they would do the same effort now to retract it. and this is something which is very important and -- [applause] and i think it's something of a strategic value for all of us because we have now allied troops still in iraq, certainly in afghanistan. you may have some nato in libya which are facing the same, same situation. and i can tell you there is no replacement to the united states not only because of your military, technology, strategic
might, economic innovations, but also because of the moral leadership that the united states presents. [applause] and there's no other country like the united states which can continue to do that. and i don't see any substitute the that, and with a can-do spirit w the american resilience, with innovation, i know that you are reinventing yourself just like israel do. so this is, even though there are some blips along the way which are in some cases cyclical or otherwise, i think that fairly soon it will be quite obvious for everyone that the u.s. leadership is here the stay. we certainly, our interests and our national security is very much dependent and intertwined in yours. i believe, also, in maybe a more
modest way american and national interest and security's also intertwined with us, and as i mentioned, the relationship goes much beyond governments. not just federal relationships, it's people to people. we see it, christian, jewish, hispanic, defense community, economic and businessmen. i'm very proud, and i think i've said that before here or to you who come to israel that israel is also very proud to be the largest trading partner of the united states in the region. we in israel, we buy more american products and services than any other country around us. per capita, we buy more than any other country in the world. i think as far as trade goes, we are, like, number 22 in absolute numbers, you know? and given our size, that's quite significant. i think, also, that the relationship, israel and the united states have always been very useful for the countries also as pilots for moving into
grander scales of operations. fda, if you recall the free trade agreement which was signed between israel and the united states in 1985 was the first free trade agreement that the united states signed. since then our trade went up hundredfold. it beat nafta, and, of course, you see the compatibility between the economies, between the societies, and this is very important, and it will continue. now, and this will also be very important when we come to look into the new vision for our region. i mean, to say that we are seeing a sea change in the middle east is probably an understatement. to say that it is very significant to all of our security and well being is, also, to state the obvious. but i can tell you that from what we see started in tunisia, went to egypt and everywhere we
see in the globe including in the syria today is something that i can say fairly, fairly safely that it is quite genuine uprising, very spontaneous, very authentic. there is a common denominator for all these uprisings, and this is the depravation of human rights, civil rights, economic opportunities and everything that just stems out from that. very brutal dictatorial regimes which do not care for the people, only for themselves and have been able to stay in power for so long just by the might of the sword and, really, of police, police state regimes. each country may be generic in the sense that the characteristics, the social fabric, the history maybe is
different, but the common denominator is still the same which is the economy and the social and the hack of human rights. lack of human rights. if we see in libya, libya's pretty much a tribal war. you have the tribe of gadhafi in the west and the people in the east. in egypt it is probably like a generational conflict. every year in egypt one million college grads go out to the labor markets, but they find no jobs. only 30% are employed. and this is accumulating. so you see how is the intensity of the problem. in bahrain it may with a religious war, sunni and shia, and each country is different. however, when we are asked in this israel, you know, what is your sentiment, what is your policy, first and foremost we have to remember that it has nothing to do with israel. and so we stay fairly quiet.
we do not want to overstate our presence in the region, and anything that we can say may be used against us or may be misinterpreted by brutal leaders or by radical islam. so all we can say in a very generic way is that, first or and foremost, we wish well to all the people around us. we would like them to be able to exercise their rights, to fulfill their opportunities in an equitable way and in a nonviolent way. this is the policy of israel. beyond that, we cannot do much even if we wanted to. it could be counterproductive. having said that, there is still a major stake here for all of us, and that is, and that is although we would like to see this revolutions consummate in a nonviolent way and in a way which will benefit the people in the region, there is a major threat.
and the major threat is that radical forces are not just on the way, they are now present in all these flash points in the region trying to pretty much hijack the revolutions. and we don't have to imagine too much we have a very salient example from 1979 iran which also started as an authentic revolution by the people against a very dictatorial regime, and then it was hijacked by the eye tole ya. the rest -- ayatollah. the rest is history. we collectively cannot afford another iran in the region, so it is very important to realize that whatever we do now whether it's in libya or when we make contacts with the interim leadership in egypt or anywhere else, we have to always be mindful that there are these nefarious forces of the iranians revolutionary guards and other agents, and they work through
many other agents and proxies. everywhere they are in the region in the middle east. unfortunately, they have a gateway which is quite open to the middle east, and this is syria. without syrian cooperation, iran wouldn't be able to act so freely throughout the middle east. but they are there. they turned lebanon into a shiite/iranian company. hezbollah does not represent lebanese but, rather, syrian or iranian interests the same way with the palestinian authority what they do with hamas. same thing. hamas does not represent palestinian, they are with islamic brotherhood in egypt, in this yemen, in bahrain and even in morocco. morocco severed relations with them. by the way, this is not just the scope of their activities. of they're also very active not far from your backyards in latin
america. there are many, many hezbollah and iranian cells. we have seen already their capabilities back in 1992 when they bombed israeli embassy in buenos aires, in 1994 when they bombed the jewish federation in buenos aires. by the way, the mastermind of these attacks is one by the name of mohamed, there is an interpol injunction against him. he happens currently to serve as iran's defense minister. they have an ally, iran, in the region which is in caracas, hugo chavez, which helps them. caracas is a hub for infiltration of iranian influence here, they are in africa and many ore places. so this is the major risk we have now that they will hijack the revolutions around us. what do we do against it? well, i would say that there are, basically, two ways to do it. one is the long, methodical way,
but it's still very, very necessary. and that is to offer, to offer a type of a marshall plan to the people in the region by saying a marshall plan, that doesn't mean that you or the europeans will need to put in a lot of money which today is scarce in the west. but the money is very much available in the region. saudi arabia and the gulf countries, they sit on mega trillion funds can which they could spare, and also it's their best interest to make sure that the iranian revolution will not be repeated. so there must be a way to sit with the saudis, with the other gulf countries and talk on a long-term plan where they put the money through, of course, accountability, transparency that will be also offered from the western countries. so, basically, there will be an industrial base created in this
region and jobs creation. this is the thing that they need. at the same time, europe and the u.s. can offer these methods and their experience to build a strong civil society. with the separation of powers, with the rule of law, with the democratic institutions, with the press, and there should be an interim period where thicks like -- things like that will be formed. and the most important thing is to project a plan, a vision to the people. so they will have hope. because what's happening today in egypt and everywhere else, okay, the revolution has succeeded. what's happening the next day? are they able to bring food to the table? no. and then the higher the expectations are over the you forrick sentiments, then later on it could be even much more dangerous the explosiveness from the letdown and the disappointment. so this is something which i think would call for leadership,
assignment of the leaders in the region -- a summit of the leaders in the region and international community should be called, and this is something which is doable. but this is something which is proactive and will take probably years to fulfill. the other measure is something which can be done immediately, and it's even more imperative, and that is to stop iran. to make sure that the iranians are not continuing to infiltrate. and to do that -- [applause] it's not enough to go and try and catcher terrorist and any political activist or imam of the iranians. it's like going after individual mosquitoes in the swamp. it's much easier to drain and dry the swamp itself. and the swamp itself today is in the regime of tehran, and we can do it by ratcheting up pressure
on iran adding more measures on top of the security council resolutions that put sanctions on iran 1929 from last june, added measures were taken by like-minded countries, of course, led by the united states, canada, australia, european countries, israel, of course, south korea is there, japan. but it's not enough. it's not enough because, because the regime is not hurting enough. and it's not hurting enough to change the conduct and to stop, a, the nuclear activities and, b, the proliferation of terrorism and their very radical agenda. and to the extent that they do not feel they pay a price, they continue in what they're doing. there is another thing which is beyond our control, but the iranian economy was hurting. but the upside for them now is
oil prices. as oil prices -- hi, sheldon. is mary here? >> [inaudible] >> mary? okay, good. it is with these oil prices that the rain grabs -- iranians were able to make more than they lost from the sanctions. so we need to administer sanctions all the way if we needed to on oil embargo and crippling their shipping and their transportation measures through which they send explosives, they send terrorists just like in the victoria ship that we intercepted about three years ago. they tried by air, sea and test centrally. egyptian military intercepted convoys camming from iran through -- coming from iran through sudan, and there are daily flights to damascus over
turkish air space, and it's important turkey will continue to intercept those and make sure they are not shipping things they should not be shipping according to the international law. and the resolutions of the united nations. so this is what we can do now very cheaply. we have also to remember that for iran the nuclear program is not an end in itself. it's only a means to the end which is complete hegemonny of the region and much, much beyond. all you have to do is the delivery systems that they are preparing. and their ballistic missiles today cover the entire middle east, europe and on the drawing board they have the jihad five which can reach continental united states. so anyone who says iran is like north korea is wrong because know may or may not -- north korea may or may not have one or two bombs in a cellar just to
extract some economic benefit. for iran it's an ideology of control. for them there is no coexistence. for them it's do or die, and it's their way or no way. and this is what we face. and today, today with the upheaval in the region it is doubly important, doubly important that we will keep the eye on the ball, that we will focus on iran and not let their attention be spread over on libya or egypt or yemen or bahrain or qatar or any place. still, iran is the source. curbing, stopping iran will have a tremendous effect on the other regions as well. so we will continue in the israel very modestly to work with the united states. as i mentioned, we cannot say too much because it will be used against us, and it will be counterproductive, but i think it is now obvious to everyone that the problems in the middle east lie within this dysfunctional society and not from israel and not from the
israelly/palestinian conflict. for too long leaders of the region just as an excuse to their own population why they have such bad conditions always put the blame on the palestinian conflict. israel was not mentioned in all the revolutions around us, so i believe now it's very obvious what, what should be the solution with nothing to do with the israel. matt, i don't know if i have more time because i can speak -- >> do we have time to take some questions? is. >> would you like to have some questions? >> two questions, two questions. >> okay. matt, you pick. you want me to pick? >> [inaudible] >> okay. >> [inaudible] is on the verge of becoming the fourth largest natural gas producer in the world which will change the balance of power in the middle east. how fast do you think you can
develop it? how can you guard it against the current threats in the middle east? >> >> well, thank you. well, you know, as jewish more or important for us now is to allocate the profits. development is not necessary. we already on the books are very rich. that's enough for us. [laughter] but it's taking time. i hope that we will start in five years to start producing. i hope that all the estimates are true. some say that they're even more than we believe. it's quite amazing that israel, which is now almost on the verge of economic independence and not through natural resources but only through our intellectual property, but it is very important to note in today, today's global and technological age whereby human rights dabbles itself -- doubles itself every 14 months.
we are poised right will on the cutting edge, and the potential for the israeli economy is great. we just last year joined the oecd, the most prestigious club of developed countries. we were lamenting why we don't have any drop of oil or natural gas when all around us they did, but i guess this was, in many ways, a blessing in disguise. now that we don't so much need it, we find it which is good. it's an added bonus. it certainly may change some geostrategic considerations in the region. we already see her generals of alliance that we will have with europe because the europeans need to diversify their sources of energy. they don't want to be dependent on just, you know, russia or turkey or certainly iran. so the plan is to really work through cypress and greece as a hub. greece will be the gateway of pipings, maybe, that will go to
europe that certainly, certainly will help a lot to explain the israeli position. and let me tell you, when you have the money and when you have the resources, you don't have pr problems. [laughter] [applause] last one, or two. we have two, so i don't know -- >> [inaudible] >> okay. just these last two and that's it. okay. first and second. >> i'm wondering if you can -- it's on? if you could speak about the role of turkey? it was just written in the "wall street journal" today and many other times that turkey could be the next iran, and they're going in an islamist direction, and you've sort of alluded to maybe there's cooperation in air space, but what about turkey? >> yeah, that's quite, quite interesting. bernard lewis, which i think is the fore scholar on the middle
east -- foremost scholar on the middle east, he said iran may become turkey and turkey may become iran. iran is not impervious to the conditions around. a year and a half ago there were riots in the streets of tehran in the wake of elections of theirs. but, of course, it was just killed, killed literally by the iranian forces which are the most brutal. but i think some threshold of fear may be broken after they see the experience in the libya and in be syria. iran we know that the population in iran have been longing for democracies, and they're pretty much admiring the western civilizations. in turkey it's somewhat different. i don't think that we will see any change in the turkish policies until coming june. this coming june in about three months we're going to have elections in turkey. until then we won't see any change. unfortunately, we see that they
use bashing the west as a means to get popularity, especially among islamist forces in turkey. and by the way, turkish/israeli relationship is merely a reflection of turkish/u.s. or turkish/western relationship. and the deterioration did not start with us. if you'll recall already in 2003 the turks did not allow american forces to go through turkey to iraq which would have saved a lot of american lives and material and so forth. back in 2008 and also last year they were voting against sanctions on iran, against the united states' specific request. also when you look at what's going on there with putting islamists in turkey in key
positions, it's also something which is very, very dangerous. one of the last appointments was by erd won where he fired the head of intelligence in turkey which was a professional guy, and he put inside someone who is an islamist with known, with known affinity to iran and relationship with revolutionary guard of iran. so this is what we have to understand that we face. he puts journalists in jail that criticize him. so, basically, i don't look at it through the scope or the prism of iran or turkish/israeli relationship. it's pretty much turkish identity, are they going to try to be what they used to be, tolerant with western orientation, or are they going to be the ore way? it's up to the turks.
>> in helping the u.s. identify, who are these people, because there's so much confusion about who can we really work with and maybe through intelligence, are there any efforts to do that and help us strengthen those people? >> thank you. as i mentioned it's very important we continue, especially the united states through moral leadership and this is where israel can also help a lot by example of being a
democratic state. but let me tell you, when you have such very dedicated forces, radical forces against you just to lead by example and morality is not enough because they take advantage of what they see as vulnerabilities and the freedoms in the west. so on top of being exemplary in our human rights, civil rights, civil society, innovation, economy and all that we must also always always present deterrence. because we are up against irrational forces who want to take us down not because our policies, not because of what we do but because of who we are. when you have a case like that of do or die, you have to keep deterrence. i will end up with a story, and by the way, when i talk about deterrence and morality i think this is also where rgc comes to
play because you represent both. very true, to our morals and to our principles and at the same time, you understand the reality of politics that sometimes if we are too kind it is mercy -- misinterpreted as kind as an weakness on the other side. sought to thank the rjc for that and i think henry kissinger would have described to rjc that would've been an active day, this is the sort want to tell you about this. this will end -- icy met here is already scheduling the next speaker. very short story. do you remember legendary secretary of state kissinger, especially 1974 in the wake of the 73 yom kippur war. he came to our region to try to negotiate an interim agreement, a disengagement between us and
egypt. between us and say. he was very, very busy all time working around and you know what, his staff made him busy because his staff, they knew that he is, he could make them crazy so they tried to keep him busy all the time. you know there are people like that who are hyperactive. anyway, one day in jerusalem they find out to their chagrin to have three hours open, you know, in the schedule. what of the going to do? somebody had the idea, let's take them around, there was a biblical zoo in jerusalem, let's take into the biblical zoo. accorsi agrees to go. the director of the zoo welcomes him. they are showing him all about. and the end, the tour ends in the lions gate. kissinger goes to the cage and he sees a ferociously looking line playing with a little lamb so he turns to the director of the zoo, this is isaiah prophecy on earth. this is what i'm trying to do here in the middle peace.
teach me, how to do that. on the director said, this is easy. we just bring in a new lamb every day. [laughter] [applause] >> so, the moral of the story, you know, that we as jews, we have been for too long the sacrificial lamb in history. no longer. we would rather be the line than the lamb. [applause] >> and we'll keep doing that with a great, great support of the rjc sub want to thank you so much for the invitation to i want to thank sheldon and mary for this great dinner of yours. i want to thank david and all of you, i've so many friends are, i would rather not start mentioning because i will have to mention all of you. michael and diana, thank you
>> dolores huerta, the cofounder of the united farm workers union spoke last week at the ywca 2011 national conference and general assembly meeting. she talked about her experiences in organizing unions and her commitment to the immigration legislation. this is about 25 minutes. >> thank you so much, gloria. it's wonderful to be here and to partner with the ywca u.s.a. for this summit on women, money and power. and i think this partnership is very exciting, and also we have now 36 organizations that have cosponsored the whole summit. so it is so important that we work together as you all know, because these are really tough times for everything that we want this country to be, for
women, for children, to end racism, to promote civil rights and human rights. but, you know, we could be a little discouraged at this time. i know eventually we will prevail. and, frankly, i just see this as a backlash that's temporary. and our next front lash will be terrific. so especially with us all working together. [applause] >> and now i'd like to introduce a dear friend, a founding member of the majority board, a person who i have worked with now for a really long time, all these decades just keep going and we keep on persevering, dolores huerta has been an absolutely incredible leader for labor, for workers rights, for human rights, to end discrimination against immigrants, for
reproductive choice, for feminism. and she never, never seems to tire. as you know she was the cofounder of the unit find -- united farm workers, and she was probably, i know she was, she was according, their toughest negotiator. in fact, when they got and jammed they would always call dolores to go there and finished the negotiation. it's because she never takes no for an answer. i just don't understand at this age, i shouldn't say that, but she can take, she can take a red eye at any time, and i have to tell you she took a redeye to come to this conference because she squeeze something in right before it. i'll never forget when we first
met, she gave a speech that absolutely, i can still remember, about pesticides and the lack of toilets. not in some third world country, but in california for farm workers. and how the pesticides were not only shortening their lives, but their children's lives. and that the outrage is that she spent, i don't know how many decades, fighting for sanitation and toilets in the fields here. she led the great boycott, and i still don't the many grapes. i feel guilty every time. but now she tells me you shouldn't eat them because of pesticides, so anyway, she is a treasure for this country and for this world.
really one of the great human rights leaders of our time, dolores huerta. [applause] [applause] >> i think i will borrow this box come is that okay? thank you very much. this is very, very exciting. it's a very cosmic moment i believe today, having the leaders of the majority, the leadership of the ywca and all of us to come together here in this moment of crisis. and if you want you to know that for the majority this is such an important moment, that some of our board members are here. and i do want to introduce them to you because they're doing
such important work. not all are here but i want you to meet some of them. we have with us today made his lend no. she is in charge of afghan women program. she traveled all over the world, bring attention to the plight of the women in afghanistan. we also have with us lorain who does a lot of the work on video and those people that are out there to get rid of women's rights but and, of course, the founder, peggy. [applause] >> give them a big applause. and we have assembled so many great feminists minds your that i just want to employees to please stick around, go to the workshops. it's going to be great workshops. when you come to washington, d.c., it's not just to see the sights as we know, but here at the summit you will
be a will to get the kind of information we need as women because there is a war against women. there is a war against women, and you can get the information from these workshops that we need to be able, are we going to stop, stop this aggression, stop the institutional violence is really what it is against women's reproductive rights. did you all know there's this big crisis right now in our government? who would think that it is so outrageous that they would be willing to shut down the government over women's rights to choose. i mean isn't that mind blowing? i mean, to think that those people on the hill, and i don't know what kind of tv or drinking, right? [laughter] >> they are drinking some kind of a key or something. hopefully we will not let them get away with it. we think back in the days of the '60s, many of your i know were involved in the civil rights movement doing the sit ins and all the kind of protests that we
would think right now we should be doing sit ins in the offices of all those right wing conservative people who think they can get away with this. they think they can get away with this so we have to make sure when we leave this conference we go back to ourçó districts and the occult everyone that window to e-mail our congresspeople and say to them, what are you crazy people doing over there? this is just outrageous. we had carl moloney with us yesterday, one of the fierce fighters for women's rights in the house of representatives. she's been out there doing so much great work for mammograms, making sure make it mandatory for them to do dna tests on rape victims, et cetera. so she made a statement that we think as women we have come so far, that we know we still have a long way to go. because when we think of where are we at as women, in terms of representation in government, in our world, i'm going to draw
deuces texas i've heard, one said we are 59th in the world. we are behind liberia in africa and some say no, we are number seven in the world when it comes to women's representation in government. think about that. we know that in the united states we're probably 16% as represented in our government. we who are supposed to be the most powerful country in the world, and when it comes to the corporate world which has so much influence on government today, we are left between seven and 8%. women, we have a lot of work to do. i think one of the things he guess we see what's happening because we know in the tea drinkers i will call them, are really putting up a lot of women to run for political office and have gained a lot of attention. a lot of attention that, anyway,
so we have to distinguish between the women, and i think it's important, we have to do seems between and feminists, right? women and feminists. that is very important because what is a feminist? a feminist is a person who is going to stand up for the reproductive rights of women, right? number one. that's important because we know as women we cannot really be, we cannot fully attain what we need to attain if we didn't have control of our bodies. number one, okay? we have to have feminists are people that really stand up for labor rights, for education, for the environment, for lb gt rights. this is what a feminist is. and i urge all to get a button like this that says this is what a feminist looks like, okay? and by the way, the minimum can also be feminists.
not just the women. it's important that we start distinguishing because we are not going to get snookered back by these tea drinkers right? we know that some of the women that have been elected and are running for office are contrary, they are against everything that women really need and women really want. and they have done, kind of taken away the attention of the public, the economic meltdown as we know of people that lost their homes to the mortgage fraud, et cetera. they have kind of distracted the public and they said, it's these immigrants. it's all of these people that are coming in from other countries. first of all we just have to remind everybody, and leisure native american, your family came from somewhere, right? you know, all of us are immigrants to this country and came here, were brought here against our will at one time or
the other. when we asked for legalization for immigrants, this is nothing new. we are asking for the same thing that other people, the same type of rights other people have had in this country over the years. every single immigrant group that came to the united states was legalized at one time or the other. and back in the 1920s we actually had more foreign-born in our country than we had nativeborn citizens. and so again what these conservative groups have done is they have made it appear like immigrants are the ones that are draining our finances which, of course, they are not. it's the bankers and the other people. we have to remind people what the contributions of our immigrants have been. number one, they feed our economy with all the purchases that they do. the contributions of social security, over $35 billion.
over $35 billion. some of that money they will never see, or most of it they will never see because they have to borrow social security number. and then all of us know the people that are doing our gardens are putting the food on our table. some immigrant worker out there, some undocumented worker. and yet, they are taking care of her children, taking care of our elderly in nursing homes. and yet, they are being victims of deportations to families that have been divided. he will not believe this, but some of these families that have been divided, they've actually put up their children for adoption. isn't that outrageous? and one question people never ask is why do people come your? why do people come to the united ?ates?ñññ? well, why do they leave their beautiful homes in guatemala, places we go to as tourist? because there are no
opportunities. why are there no opportunities? and we are very responsible for that because we have these free trade agreements that allow us to shift our subsidize corn from the midwest from iowa and illinois, kansas, we ship our subsidize corn to mexico and we displaced millions of farmers. they could not compete with agribusiness here. they cannot compete. so millions of them are beingqo displaced and they're out of work. what are they going to do? they're not going to store. they're going to come to the united states of america. and we had a big box stores like wal-mart, they go to mexico, central america and the displaced thousands of shopkeepers. they have nowhere to go. they have to come north, come to the united states. and we have big factories. we take out the profits, take out the natural resources and the people are left behind, low-wage earners.
i think that's the a fire alarm again. [inaudible] >> i think that's meant for us. we have a fire alarm going on in congress right now. [laughter] >> and if we see what we did in world war ii, what we did with japan and germany, after we defeat those countries they were our enemies. what did we do? we send them millions of dollars to build their economy, we have sony, mitsubishi, toyota. they were all built with american dollars there in the same thing with germany. the difference is that american companies did not go into japan, in germany, and take over the economies. we let them build their own economies. and a difference with latin america where american countries go in and take over the economy. so those free trade agreements, the ones in colombia and all
these other places, we need to call congress as they don't sign those agreements. we know they're very bad for the working people over there, for the labor unions. so we need to kind of rethink, and it's not just mexico and central america, if we don't use our technology to really help them, we want to take over their economies. so if we can stop, and by the way, the free trade agreements that we send american jobs overseas which we know, and in addition to attacking immigrants the way again our conservatives have done in this country, now guess what? they're going after teachers, right? teachers. we saw what's going on in wisconsin and going after their pension plans, public servants. as a negotiator when you're at the table and you're negotiating for your workers and you negotiate a medical plant going you negotiate a pension plan, the workers are getting up wages. that money that they're giving up a pension plan for the future
secured as part of their wages. they are putting that away for when they retired. so we have people going after their pension plans, it's like you're taking away the wages they earn. so these are things that we have to really be aware of, and our labor unions. you know, what are labor unions, labor unions are an organization of workers to defend themselves on the worksite and in the community. this is what an organization of workers is. woman go after our labor unions, they are saying we're getting rid of our middle class in our country because labor unions are the ones that create the middle-class in our society. and so we've got to labor unions and if we're going to have a democracy. if we do not have the middle-class we do not have a democracy. then that means again that those are empowered, they can stay in power. they're going after labor unions because they feel labor unions are going to get out the vote and elect people that are going to be there for working people
and not for the corporate powerful. so this is kind of the situation we're in right now, very dangerous situation to going after education. now, if we do not have the gimp an educated citizenry, then again the grieving and the powerful can stay in power. and going after, saying after going after the public school system, going after our teachers, this is a menace we have in a society. so we are i believe in a very horrific crisis right now. >> just a few minutes left in this event. we will leave here and you can see the rest of it in its entirety on our website, c-span.org. going live now to capitol hill for the commission on wartime contracting is continuing its investigation into how u.s. tax dollars are being spent on current contracting in afghanistan and iraq. and compare those to the same work by u.s. and coalition support and military personnel. this is live coverage just
getting under way. >> ngos as their come to called that to develop and work among the afghan people. we had some interesting perspectives on development and sure to join to produce ngl white paper entitled being smart about development in afghanistan. the white paper reflects lessons learned from projects involving more than 6000 afghan communities for the benefit of more than 10 million afghans. the paper argues that smart development should be one afghan driven, have ngo knows but with local acceptance and community participation to target projects that are appropriate, feasible and sustainable with close oversight to mitigate the ever present risk of corruption. number two, accountability. ensuring both donors and communicate spending is being done transparently on projects that are needed and valued.
free, impartial. being developed by need and impact rather than by national governments political slash military stabilization objectives. and forth, sustainable. focusing on projects and support mechanisms that will enable afghan communities and institutions to continue delivering services after ngo assistance has hinted. criteria like transparency oversight accountability and sustainability have been key concerns for this commission, and a featured prominently in our reports to congress. in particular, we believe insufficient attention to sustainability will prove to be one of the main sources of waste in iraq and afghanistan. if after the united states withdraws from the country, the local government cannot supply train operators were project, can't afford to maintain it, or can't afford to run it, then
that project was simply a waste. no matter how well-designed and built. the oppressive but likely unsustainable kabul power plant built under the auspices of usaid, is a case in point. one of the for ngo white paper principles impartial sirs a special note, our hearing titled begins with prts and ngos. prts our provincial reconstruction teams. they were developed in afghanistan 10 years ago to provide an interagency approach to public diplomacy and reconstruction. usually led by u.s. personnel from defense, state, usaid and other agencies, they are not impartial but take political favor to his agent objections into account. both prts and many ngos receive funding from u.s. taxpayers. so one interesting question is whether the impartial non-government connected
approach may yield better outcomes for a tracking activity in the long run than the prt approach that can obviously be perceived and rescinded as an arm of the occupied force. other interesting questions include oversight and budget discipline. how to ngos with real budget constraints do performance and accountability on contractors and other implemented partners. also, some ngo representatives told us if a project goes over budget, they do not ask donors or the u.s. government to cover the overruns, but absorb it from their own reserves. i'd like that verified under oath. would federal adoption of such a policy foster closer attention to cause by our agencies? these and related questions will figure into finance and recommendations of the final report to congress that we will submit in july. we will explore them today with our panel of expert witnesses.
for witnesses represent ngos, the fifth will speak from the perspective of the congressional charter u.s. institute for peace. our panelists are matthew mcgarry, country manager, catholic relief services, and richard, vice president international rescue committee, richard bowers, regional program director for south asia, mercy corps. michael klosson, vice president save the children. and beth cole, director of intergovernmental the shares, u.s. institute of peace. i will note for the record that all four of the ngos represented here today participate in the white paper on smart development of the other two organizations involved with the foundation and the cooperative for assistance relief everywhere, better known as care. was asked a witnesses to offer five minute summaries of their testimony. the full text of the written statements will be entered into the record and posted on the commission's website. we also ask the witnesses
provide within 15 business days response to any questions for the record and any additional information they may offer to provide. on behalf of the commission, we thank all of our today's witnesses for participating in what i view as a very important and i think interesting hearing. and so now, if our witnesses will rise and raise their right hands i will swear them in. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you will take before this commission is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? note for the record all i witnesses respond in the affirmative. and i will just note that we are now joined by dr. zakheim who will probably tell us that it was traffic that delayed imaging here. dashing delayed him being here. let me just thank the witnesses for being here, and mr. bowers, we will start with you. and this is the only panel, five
minutes will be appreciated. if you run a minute or two over they'll be okay, but after seven i will be brutal. mr. bauer? >> thank you. i want to express my appreciation to co-chairman shays into the other commissioners serving on the commission for opportunity to testify today. i'm here today in the capacity as a regional program director for south central and east asia for the mercy corps international humanitarian and development nonprofit or decision currently working in over 40 conflict countries such as iraq and afghanistan. i myself was the country director in afghanistan for 2004-2006 in the early days of the prt formations. mercy corps has worked continuously in iraq since 2003 with projects benefiting nearly 6 billion iraqis. in afghanistan we have worked there since 1986 under the taliban regime as well as post, and can't work in 12 provinces in the north and eastern part of the country. both of those countries receive
u.s. taxpayer support through usaid, department of state and the. today i will provide information and examples to go statewide mercy corps has observed that did not in contingency operations currently practiced by the u.s. government is largely designed for failure. this is primarily due to the lack of conceptual clarity -- [inaudible] my testimony towards the clarity on the conceptual flaw ability required for the u.s. government to transform current stabilization activities to sustainable development investments as we look towards reducing our military commitments during transition. our expensive just a careful attention to three key areas would help the u.s. government to increase in packs a a developer of new programs in contingency operations, while significant reducing waste and improving transparency and accountability of those efforts.
these three key elements are ensuring that the right actors are engaged in the right goals, aligning u.s. government funding mechanisms with intended goals, and employing empirical-based approaches to promote sustainable development. the first key element which is ensuring that the right actors are engaged in the right goals is in particular interest with contingency operations and we see many groups or actors present and engaged in a variety of developmental activities. for this hearing, the commissioners have specifically asked the differences between ngo and prts so i will focus on explaining areas of comparative advantages for ngos as compared to prts. first as many of you know, ngos are predominant step by local citizens who are known to those areas and live in those areas. as we are staffed mainly by local people and have been doing these works in these committees such as in kandahar and helmand since the 1980s, mercy corps as others are seen as different
for many of the other actors. this has a comparative advantage of allowing us to be seen as impartial. second, ngos are different because we are traditionally structured our program to allow longer time frames for implementation, lower expenditures, and process oriented methodologies to improve and involve local peoples and programs. we have found that when they feel ownership, local citizens are more likely to involve themselves in project monitoring and, therefore, accountable to sustainability. when these three elements of slower implementation measured spending and local ownership are present and working in tandem, this allows for full scope of the procedures we have in place to minimize waste and build accountability. finally, most traditional ngos are not associate with military and are not part of the integrated citizen strategy currently being deployed. ngos operate on the principle that dependence are 100% civilian, and most practice methodology for developing and
transitional environment. in this context our comparative advantage of ngos from the standpoint of local citizens is that we're able to operate in ways that it is less intimidating. the second key area i wish to highlight is aligning u.s. government funding mechanisms with intended goals. just as there's a married of actors working on the ground in contingency operations and there are also multiple funding sources and put your mechanisms operating simultaneously. where mercy corps tradition does not accept contracts in u.s. u.. government parlance, we operate through cooperative agreements and grants, or assistance. since the commission has expressed interest in analysis of the differences between these two procurement mechanisms, this test would provide her perspective on the advantages of grants or assistance. first because contractors represent usaid, they maintain no independent identity on and the many programs and, therefore, are not seen as impartial. there are situations in which this could be seen as an
advantage for the u.s. government policy planter. however, as discussed above it can also carry limitations that need to be acknowledged and planned and designed especially in contingency operations with u.s. military forces are party to ongoing conflict. finally, employing proven in-based approaches to promote sustainable involve is a the third area. and in this i would like to mark the methodology does matter which is often lacking in prts. good development can happen only when proven methods are employed. if i'd waited, replicate and, in fact, scale in different context. in 2007 versus gore undertook a field study to gauge the success of two programs in central asia. one to five years after the project ended we had resource understand a lasting impact of this program and we found that as a result of the committee methodology used by mercy corps in many other ngos, is wind continued, communities --
committees continue to maintain a project over 93% surveyed they are being actively used. [inaudible] >> this provides concrete evidence that communities led to build and foster significant change in transitional environment. to do this program time frames have to be extended to be sustainable, development programs in afghanistan should be built around three to five year time frames, not 12 to 18 months. the additional time is required to maximize u.s. investments by planning for a careful hand over. unfortunately, at present the very obsession of the stabilization ends up creating missed opportunity. i thank you again for your leadership and commitment in addressing the essential question of how to best support effective development efforts, while the history of difficulty of long with the development would continue to operations may seem to offer more examples of
failure than success, at mercy corps we believe the opportunity does not exist in the world's toughest place to buy point the right actors for the right tasks, aligning funding with intended goals and supporting proven methodological approaches, the u.s. government could make concrete contributions towards improving development outcomes. >> a.q., mr. bowers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and other commissioners, we very much welcome today's hearing as a continuation of conversation that some commissioners begin with our country, directors and kabul not too long ago. ago. save the children country director would have liked to have been present today, but i am based in washington and i'm here instead to talk with u.s. assistance through smart develop an approach can best serve the needs of vulnerable children who come after all, represent the future of their country. i submitted a comprehensive statement for the record and so i would like to is briefly highlight the circumstances that children face in afghanistan, briefly mentioned the work of save the children and then talk
about the importance of accountability and the smart development approach our agencies employed in afghanistan. children always the most vulnerable. children in afghanistan for the worst chances of survival in the world. about one out of every five children dies before the age of five, mostly due to preventable causes. that's not to say that progress isn't being made. in a mortality rate has dropped a dime a more children in school today than they were 10 years ago. but there's still a million of school age kids not getting an education. so afghanistan is a really tough place to be a child inspired don't engagement and despite the provision of significant humanitarian intel and assistance to adopting comprehensively the smart development approach that we've outlined in a paper can change the circumstances. a brief word about save the children we've worked with afghans for over 30 years, after a staff that is about 90% afghan we provide protection, health,
nutrition and education programming in nine provinces struggling to our own staffs, and and another dozen or so through partners. that's an example of one stream of how we work with families, committees, health care workers, in homes and health post, clinics and hospitals to provide basic health care and well being, particularly for children under five and for women of childbearing age. so we're in the business of supporting doctors and nurses as well as community midwives, and we train and support community health workers who work out of their own homes to read some of the poorest and most remote areas of afghanistan. i think our extensive expense working in afghanistan has taught us basic lessons about what conditions are more likely to lead to successful outcomes. and together with our other colleagues here at the table, we believe our work should be guided by certain principles. let me highlight one of those core principles, accountability. smart development which is what we have talked about in our
paper, is accountable to both donors and to communities. and i can build and develop programs is a matter of building relationships among donors, committees, governments, private sectors and ngos in which all actors have incentive to fulfill the responsibilities. i think accountability to donors is pretty well understood. ngos are accountable to donors and we suffer financial commitments so the consequences if we don't meet our commitments is cost, possible jeopardizing future funding to we have financial incentive to propose, deliver appropriate feasible and sustainable programs. but accountability committees is also a fundamental tenet of how we work. we are accountable to committees to provide assistance that meets the priorities in a matter that is culturally acceptable, impartial and doesn't jeopardize their security. so what does this mean in practice? i think local perceptions of save the children are critical to our ability to gain access to committees.
is accessed through acceptance. and that means we have to know the people we're working with, understand the dynamics, identify the needs and aspirations through dialogue. so access is key, and that means we can continue to make field visits and directly monitor the project, implementation and outcomes. but also delivering results is key because unless we meet the communities needs, meet their aspirations, acceptance will diminish and that potentially makes much more difficult for us to gain access. ngos are gamble to committees. but communities and their lives are also accountable. so what does that mean? let me give you an example of how this tends to work. when we first come to a village to do some work with the community, we actually sit down with the others and we talk about what we can do to help the community. we hear what their priorities are and after that, there's a discussion of results and agreement on a project. that's all done in a very public fashion so that we sit with the sure, people understand what
we're saying, there's public discussion and the community knows what's happening and he was benefiting. i think i can indication is done by our national staff so it's very transparent, very open, the republic. into the transparency we are able to ensure greater accountability. i think our smart development paper recommends strengthening accountability with an increased emphasis on resources for monitoring evaluation within the u.s. government, u.s. government into making partners, and within local partners and local ngos. we much welcome usaid's new policy that was established in january on monitoring evaluation. i think the road ahead in afghanistan is a difficult one, but the dramatic needs of afghans children really are continued engagement. we propose an approach that we think works, which is approach based on long-term commitment, genuine partnership and transparent. we've seen this approach which is afghan driven, sustainable and design, and accountable and
impartial execution producing results. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. klosson. mr. mcgarry. >> thank you co-chairman shays, member of commissions only visiting. we appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today to share brief field-based observation on the smart development principles of sustainability. based on this principle and our expense, we recommend the u.s. government treaty building in afghanistan as a process, consider the comparative advantages all development implementers when designing, awarding and assessing assistance programs in afghanistan. catholic relief services is the official overseas relief and development agency and a cabinet committee in the united states. we work in over 100 countries around the world provide mentoring relief and development assistance. crs country represented in afghanistan from 2008-2011, i had the privilege to lead a team of over 450 afghans in 15 international staff working in the provinces.
crs teams work in close partnership with local communities, local governments, civil society groups to implement programming in the sectors of agriculture price, integrated water security, committee-based education and emergency response. the idea that development must be sustainable in order to be meaningful is neither new nor is it disputed. what we observe on the ground in afghanistan, however, suggest an enormous goal between acknowledging the theoretical importance of sustainable development and putting that theory into practice. over and over we see the principle of sustainable development sacrificed in order to me political timelines, expedite burn rates and deliver quantifiable outputs without measuring more relevant impacts. a small success today all too often produces extremely negative consequences tomorrow. if a school is built in a location that is easily accessible for the construction company but not for children and
surrounding villages, or if there's no qualified teachers assign to it, it will not endure and the only dam and communities enthusiasm for educating their girls and boys. if the construction of a water system in one village provides contemporary goodwill at the expense of inflaming presenting complex with neighboring villages, and that project is not only unsustainable but it is act -- actively harmful. it may seem self-evident we continue to emphasize that smarty element is sustainable development. that and sustainable development programs are almost always worse is not at all, and a poorly implemented stabilization or development activities me in the and be destabilizing. in contrast, we offer the repetition that develop and be treated as a process. by approaching develop and as a process that requires careful planning, assessment, implementation, monitoring, follow-up and frequent course direction, we are able to demonstrate consistent incremental results while
working towards sustainable for long lasting impact. a process to driven development is inherently afghan driven and partial accountable and sustainable. crs's work in afghanistan provide examples of what this process looks like. our agri- enterprise activities are designed in consultation with both the committees that will benefit from them and the planning team at the provincial department of agriculture. before any activities are undertaken, crs staff and local farms conduct extensive assessment and consultation to develop a business plan and profitability analysis. including the body of any inputs contributed by crs. farmers who participate in the project received inputs that participate in workshops, but they also receive regular follow-up monitoring and on the job training. crs staff and department of agriculture economist join is a project sites to assess process, suggest corrections were necessary and to disseminate lessons learned and best practices. farmers not only read individual benefits but also worked together in growers associations and collective marketing
arrangements. through these associations, they get enhanced lead to economies of scale and a long-term support network. these growers associations and our collaboration with department of agriculture build individual farmer skills and a technical capacity for future success. as this example illustrates, the process driven method ensures not only financial stability but also structural sustainability. programs are linked to relevant government agencies and build local capacity to carry on programs after crs lease. moreover, they plant the seeds for future growth and develop. crs example after nearly a decade in afghanistan illustrates the principle of sustainable is not only feasible, but is essential for the effective delivery of u.s. development assistance. commissioner scott we appreciate your and cory and we respectfully suggest that a full exploration of the comparative advantages others develop and implement just by the gao would help to measure developer
impacts of sustainability over the long term. benchmarks in standardized measures of progress to assess impact will help ensure a standard of comparison among various implementing agencies. secondly, we ask congress close to march to procurement reform only be undertaken by usaid to ensure that it is needs-based committee let programming is a prioritized. thank you again commissioners for this opportunity to testify. we appreciate your interest in these principles and look forward to working with you as you prepare your final report. >> thank you, mr. mcgarry. >> thank you very much, commissioners. for the invitation to provide testimony. minus and richard, the vice president for government relations. the art see has been around since 1933. we began working with afghan refugee communities in pakistan in 1980. and we launch programs inside afghanistan in 1988. today we are in five southeastern provinces. we have a staff of 3400
afghanistan of which 98% are afghan. our funding comes from a mix of sources on the u.s. department of state, a.i.d.'s office assistant, giving commission, and as will be described in my remarks, the afghan ministry, rural rehabilitation and development at one of the three key recommendations from the smarty government white paper is that genuine partnership between ngos and local committees is necessary. to quote from the paper, the success of any development intervention is dependent upon the investment and genuine cooperation of those that is designed to serve. initiatives that are designed, and limited and maintained by beneficiary communities have the greatest potential to deliver sustainable results. an example of genuine partnership that works is a national solidarity program. we've been involved in the nrp since 2003 figures developed by the world bank and is managing kabul as i said but afghan history of rural rehabilitation
and development. and i should say there are 28 partners that work on the nsb and care and other foundations are also facilitate partners. the program is in 34 provinces of the country over 20,000 villages have benefited from this partnership. it's a programmer communities identify plan and manage their own development project. in a very inclusive way. here's how the program works. one, irc or another for something partner approaches local elders, religious leaders and other powerful people in a village and ask them to endorse the program. once they have done that it opens a lot of doors inside a those. community dennis rivera community felt the plans and identify projects. in actions are organized to great community development council. with the responsibility of the projects. men and women can serve on the cdc. block grants from the ministry are captivated and about $200 per family with a maximum of
$60,000 per community. a number of financial steps help make sure the funds are not diverted committee members are informed about how the money is being spent through public support and in large public these are marching committees are established to promote transparency and accountability. it should be mentioned cdc's hire local people to undertake complete projects by monitoring their project. over the past eight years the irc has helped to establish 1728 communities develop councils in districts in four provinces. the council is spearheaded over 3406 projects reaching more than 2 million people. the projects have ranged in the construction of roads, schools, hospitals and irrigation syste systems. the intangible benefits are also meaningful for many participants who represent the first time they have been able to play a role in determining how their needs are met. the opportunity to elect
councilmembers and build consensus empower citizens, and exercising good governments on the committee level. funding is protected from corruption in committees. committees are invested in the success of the program depends on their choices and ability to deliver. this level of buy-in is out on critical to the success of the project but also to their long-term sustainability. yes, it is paid which more easily improve services and other areas. i also want to mention a second program also a partnership with afghan organizations. this approach was critical in our indices ability to oversee assistance to over 3000 people in southeast afghanistan following severe flooding in 2010. the irc knows he's funny from usaid's office of foreign to support the humanitarian response program to in this emergency response program the irc provides training for afghan partner organizations and how to help after humanitarian emergency or natural disaster. in visits to the region i have been impressed again and again
at the quiet courage of the afghan people. many have experienced terrible things, yet they strive to build a better society. on a trip to afghanistan that used to i visited programs and somehow different villages were investing their fund. one community built a stone bridge over a creek that provide a shortcut to bring our product to market and another i saw children in classes catered for women. ..
>> and explore how we can be better partners with them in securing a better future for all afghans. thank you. >> thank you very much, ms. richard. and, ms. cole, you'll finish up, and we'll start questions. >> thank you, mr. shays, and members of the commission, for giving me the opportunity to testify today. i'm director of international affairs for the institute of peace a supported institution focused on conflict prevention and resolution. the views i express here today are my own. i was a lead writer in the first doctrine for a whole of government and whole of community action published by usip and the u.s. army in 2009. what i state to you today reflects some of what i learned during the writing and vetting of this manual. i'll also discuss the unique role that congress gave to usip 27 years ago to act as the
primary interlocutor between u.s. humanitarian organizations working in zones of conflict. in fact, i have the honor of co-chairing the only regular contact group between these actors in the u.s., the working group on civil-military relations in many nonpermissive environments. the spark for this group arose from issues in afghanistan. in 2005 interaction, the largest u.s. umbrella organization for ngos, approached state with concerns about encroachment by the u.s. military in the humanitarian sphere in afghanistan. state asked usip if we would convene the relevance parties. the activities were alleged to be blurring the distinction between armed forces and armed humanitarian and development workers jeopardizing the safety of the latter and forcing retreat among them to more secure areas. this shrinkage of humanitarian
space, ng os argued, led to less, not more help to needy people. our first meeting in march of that year was tense and tumultuous, but over time we have learned that regular dialogue often lead to better understanding, less duplication of effort, increased safety for americans on the ground, clearer roles and responsibilities and faster response in emergencies. this dialogue produced an historic document released in july of 2007 by the u.s. department of defense interaction and usip entitled "guidelines for relations between u.s. armed forces and nongovernmental humanitarian organization in hostile or potentially hostile environments." i've provided a copy to even of you of these -- each of you of these guidelines. what we've learned are some simple facts. first, years before the u.s. military's on the ground in afghanistan, ngos are likely to be there providing assistance
in the worst conditions. and years after our forces have departed ngos will still be there. humanitarian assistance and development is their business. the dramatic increase in profit-making contractors working in this business is muddying the waters leading to legitimate questions about the accountability, role and conduct of these for-profit entities. second, the widespread perception that major ngos -- u.s. ng os -- operate on the fly without standards and rules is simply not true. under the auspices of the u.n., the committee brings ngos together routinely for assistance operations. a ground-breaking project has created a humanitarian charter and minimum standards for humanitarian assistance. third, a reading of these fundamental building blocks shows that the line between humanitarian and development assistance is not a sharp one. when emergency health care is delivered, the involvement of
the community, the on-the-job training of future health care workers, the infrastructure that is often built leads to the rebirth or creation of the health care system that might endure beyond any emergency phase. that is development. and you can trace that path for the other sectors; sanitation, water, food, shelter and education. in afghanistan the civ-mil dialogue has been halting and difficult. it has been jump-started by civilians in the u.s. embassy and then disbanded. it has been led by the u.n. and then halted. it has been revived in some form by a new general assigned to isaf and then petered out as rotations brought in new officers. but the imperative delivering humanitarian and development assistance does not stop. in our working group, we've been focusing almost solely now on this afghanistan problem. time is growing short for the u.s. and its partners to show significant progress before transition targets are missed. delineating respective roles and responsibilities is critically
important at this phase. the organization's o most -- the organizations most likely to remain in place assisting the nation for the long haul are the ngos, so it is imperative that we build the trust that is necessary, the trust we have found so fleeting to enable development and ongoing humanitarian and development assistance to be successful. usip remains committed to fostering the dialogue that is necessary. members of our working group and usip believe that our civil-military working group model in washington has proven its effectiveness and should be replicated at some level in afghanistan to remedy the collapse in effective communication among the key actors this. we stand ready to assist in this process if congress preserves usip. thank you very much. i'm happy to answer your questions. >> thank you very much, ms. cole. i'd like to, again, thank all five of our witnesses. the way we're going to proceed is the commissioners will do a
first round of eight minutes, and we'll probably do a second round of eight minutes. we'll sew how that -- see how that works. welcome mr. tiefer. he's usually the first one at a hearing, so the four of us who were here were a bit concerned about his well being, so it's nice to have you. because we thought he might not be here, we invited mr. dixon to participate, and he's still invited to participate. so he will, i'll go second to last, he will go last, and we're going to start with dov zakheim, commissioner zakheim. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i also want to thank you all for coming here and thank you for meeting with us in kabul as well. it was really very useful, and it's the reason you're all here. ms. richards, nice to see you again. and, mr. mcgarry, i was chatting with my friend the other night, cardinal mccare rick, who as you know is in
charge of crf. told him how helpful you'd been in kabul and what a pleasure it is to have you. this group, in many ways, is not usual for all ngos. when mr. karzai talked about getting rid of, i think, it's 300 corrupt ngos, he didn't have you in mind. so there are ngos, and there are ngos, and that's one of the things we do need to highlight and think about how you guys do it right and what we do about those others. because that has not been mentioned at all. but i have a couple of questions about your relationships with the military. one of the messages that's come out of all your testimonies, including yours, ms. cole, is that the military doesn't really get it right. it doesn't really understand sustainability, it's in for short-term results, and there's a second message -- sometimes it's been subliminal, sometimes it's been explicit -- that you don't really want to have too much to do with them, that you'd
rather stay neutral. so i have a couple questions. you've all been in afghanistan apart from, obviously, institute of peace, for a long time. and you've had access, you claim, and you've met the need of the communities. but until 2001 you weren't getting very far. obviously, you weren't under the taliban. and it was only when the united states in particular came in and the taliban was overthrown that you've had much more access. so didn't the removal of the taliban open doors for you that were closed before? or at least result in outcomes that you couldn't achieve before? or would you say that you were doing just as well under the taliban? i'll just go down the list. >> no, certainly we would not advocate a regime change where we'd be working under the taliban. our access during those times were limited, in fact, probably
more by the definition of responding to a humanitarian crisis in a certain geographic area. during that time we were primarily a southern afghanistan entity dealing with refugee repatriation and sources of that may have. in terms of -- of that nature. in terms of actually progress made during the taliban time, certainly, there are limitations during that time. we could not advance a development agenda that would highlight women's needs, we could not advance other progress in a market-led economy as that did not really exist. >> so then let me just ask you, in that case why is it so important to stay at not even arm's length, you know, body's length away from the military since they've created opportunities you didn't have? >> the opportunities they create we agree, in fact, in terms of when they're acting as a stabilizing force and promoting with the afghan partnerships law and order. we certainly would agree that's a very important mission of the prts and, in fact, the u.s.
military when they can advance that. the primary issue for us is it clouds and, as ms. cole indicated, clouds the relationship between civilian assistance and military assistance. we are impartial to the needs, though we respond to all parties in our consultative process, you will see typically the prt responding to the needs of local power structures like the governorship. and those may not necessarily be community-led. and then, finally, there is just the issue of security and safety and having a close relationship with our armed combatant like a military force just, frankly, is too dangerous for our staff. they are high-value targets, and it is our goal to remain deterrent through community acceptance strategies, not through force military. >> mr. clausen, are you pretty much on the -- pretty much on the same page? >> let me add two points. one, although we keep our
distance from the military on the ground, we don't keep our distance from the afghan government. last year, for example, there were some flooding and humanitarian disasters. those the ngo community communicates closely. i mean, we do want to be coordinated. and i think the second point that -- and i wasn't in afghanistan prior to 2001 and, certainly, agree with mr. bowers on many of his points -- is that, also, i think the availability of resources for us to do development work has expanded considerably during that period, and that's something that's enabled us to do more work in the communities. but we, again, to gain access to communities our security's very much based on acceptance. it's not based on deterrence or prevention, and that requires us not to be seen as sort of the vanguard of a military force. >> mr. mcgarry? >> yes. at crs we established a permanent office presence in 2002, so your point's well
taken. to us, similar to the other organizations, it's not a question of just the military even, it's armed actors. we don't, you know, some organizations have afghan national police guarding their guest houses and offices. we don't. we have unarmed guards who are full-time employees, local commanders have offered to protect food distributions with their local gunmen, and we always decline and say, no the, that's not the way that we work. the primary driver is the safety and security of our staff. if we're viewed as a direct party to the conflict on whichever side, that endangers us. and just to emphasize, also, we frequently have these conversations with the military in afghanistan, and they are extremely understanding of our perspective of the need to keep our staff safe. they just want us to keep doing what we're doing and are very understanding for the need for that space. >> ms. richard? >> you know, a few years ago i visited jalalabad, and i talked to some reservists that were there, and i was so impressed by
these guys because they were sort of the best face of the u.s. in terms of, you know, they came from lots of different walks of life, they, you know, clearly were, you know, taken up this real great personal risk. but it struck me -- and they were very enterprising. they would talk to each other, e-mail back and forth to try to figure out different approaches to development in jalalabad. but it struck me they hadn't been trained for this role, that wasn't their original mission, and it was something of a disservice to be thrust into doing reconstruction development work without the proper background. so it's not surprising to me then that they would produce projects that aren't sustainable because they weren't trained to do that. and also i think we should say then that, also, a lot of our efforts to be impartial and provide aid based on need and not to be affiliated with any particular political or armed
groom is based on humanitarian principles that go back to the mid 1800s and have stood the test of time. so this was not something that was dreamed up, you know, for the afghanistan issue. so there are tensions sometimes when we come and brief on capitol hill. especially more and more staff, i'm finding, up here are veterans of iraq or afghanistan, and they don't want to hear that we're too good to work with the military. and i assure you, that is not the case. instead it's a very deliberate design to work independently and to work from the perspective of the communities and on their behalf. it's a very different mission than what the military has taken on. >> my time's up. >> your time is out. e just would like ms. cole to respond to it as well. >> um, just a point of information, usip has been on the ground in afghanistan since 2002 supporting rule of law and community and national reconciliation activities. but i, i think at the existence of this contact group that we have in washington --
>> excuse me, one second. because we're running -- his time has expired. he asked a specific question, could you direct it to ms. cole? just so there's consistency in our -- >> yeah. the question was very simple. it was really two parts. one was, and mr. bowers answered in detail, the other panelists didn't really disagree with him, that, you know, they with respect very successful prior to 2001 -- they weren't very successful prior to 2001. the military, therefore, came in and opened doors in ways that were just not possible for the ngos prior to 2001. and, therefore, the question is, why this emphasis on neutrality given that the military has done what it's done and enabled the ngo to do exactly the kinds of things they want to do? >> well, you know, again, i was just going to say that i think that the existence of the number of dod entities that are involved in our working group has shown there's a voracious
appetite for them to understand exactly what the role is of the nongovernmental organizations in afghanistan. and they clearly have learned over the last five years, i wouldn't say that they started there, that in order for them to, you know, i agree with you that in the beginning they were in there, they were dislodging the taliban, they felt like they should conduct humanitarian and development assistance activities themselves. but they have learned over the last five years that really their lane is not in that sphere. and that these actors can to it much more efficiently and with the local population. and as we transition out of afghanistan, um, they are increasingly looking to understand and, in fact, give the space to these nongovernmental organizations to perform their activities. because they know they're going to be there after they depart. >> thank you. thank you. so now we will go to commissioner ervin. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and
can thanks, likewise, to all of you for being here today. i commend each of you for the work that you individually do and your respective organizations do, and i have a very high regard for ngos in particular before preparing for this hearing. but in the course of preparing for this hearing, i should tell you that my esteem for you and your work has only increased. that's kind of a predicate for the first question i want to ask which is kind of an uber-question. both you, ms. richard and you, ms. cole, set it up very well. given the common sense principles that your respective organizations employ -- not just those laid out in the document, but the whole range, the local support and local buy-in which necessarily leads to sustainability. the apolitical nature. you're not being seen as an arm of the military, i should say. the fact that you are generally there for years before conflict begins and there after conflict ends, the small amounts of money that are involved such that that
money can be sustained and can be absorbed by the local government, your tendency to rely on local workers, etc., all of this leads me to ask kind of the overarching question of whether -- and you were going, it seems to me, ms. cole, in this direction -- in the future as we transition out of afghanistan, iraq and as we look to future contingencies, and there surely will be some, whether the whole of this development work ought to be done by ngos, not by the military or private for-profit contractors. i'd just like each of you to, quickly, give me your view on that question. start with you, ms. cole. >> well, i certainly think that there's a lot of lessons to be examined from both iraq and afghanistan. and i think if we could take a break from our up tempo in these operations, we would be well served by doing that. >> but as quickly as possible. >> yeah. i do think that we've all
learned a lot about what the capabilities of nongovernmental organizations are. i take your point that there are ngos, and there are ngos. but the ngos that we're talking about, that are here before you today, do exercise rules of accountability for both their donors and the u.s. government and have well-honed methodologies. >> so, therefore -- >> that should be employed in if other missions. i think we should start with that as a starting point. >> okay. mr. bowers? >> you know, i've also worked in kosovo before afghanistan, and that is often a cited situation where we run into u.s. military personnel who served in that operation as well who said why can't we do it like kosovo, you know? when we're in afghanistan and iraq. and the conditions there really aren't the same. so, you know, not to dodge the uber-question of can it, you know, what's the future model of a blended approach, it really is contextualized.
certainly, i would think many ngos see and value and understand there are times when the u.s. military in recovery, humanitarian assistance role has a place. there are operations that they can bring, and pakistan during the floods last year there was certainly a role for the u.s. military to help the pakistani government and its people. but then there is a clean role -- >> let me just stop you there. on that role that you mentioned in pakistan with military, and you were the one in your testimony who distinguished among relief and development and stabilization. wasn't the military role there largely a relief rule as opposed to a development one? >> correct. >> i'm talking about development. in your judgment, should the whole of development operations be done like the good ngos like you rather than the bad one? >> i think we have a significant role, yes. >> okay. mr. klosson? >> i'm stemmed to say, yes, but i think it actually requires to look at the capacities brought to the table, particularly in the social sector linking up
communities with governments. but i don't think you see a lot of us building roads and doing power plants and that type of thing which is also important for economic growth. so i don't think we ought to take on those kinds of projects. i think there's still room for others -- >> should the military do that? >> i think who should do it is the one who can do it best. >> and who is that? >> >> you tell me. [laughter] >> you tell me. >> i don't know. i mean, i haven't really studied -- i imagine, i would think there are a lot of companies out there that are adept at building roads and building power plants. >> mr. mcgarry? >> could the gentleman just yield? is. >> sure. >> i think that what we're trying to get at is if military does it instead of the contractors, does that then pollute, i'll use the word, development and then does that make you suspect? is that -- and that's why we're trying to wrestle with it. but if you had a preference, would you say the government, the military should not be doing
this work? and, anyway -- yeah. >> i think on the, particularly on where the ngos have value added on the social sector side, i think ngos should be doing that in partnership with the host government and local authorities, not with the military. >> okay. >> mr. mcgarry? >> um, so i don't have any access to comprehensive study of this, my information's basically anecdotal from the last three years in afghanistan, a couple years before that in pakistan, a year and a half before that in sudan, but i would say when we wrote this pay or, it wasn't with the military in mind, with private security companies in be mind or for-profit contractors or even ngos. the idea is we see so much bad development in afghanistan done across the board, there are international ngos that do a terrible job, local ngos that do a terrible job. what i would like to see is that these principles be the metric by which anyone is evaluated for it. and so in afghanistan the distinction between private
contractors and the military is often not a very meaningful one because private contractors operate, as you know, with heavy, close protection, armored vehicles and so forth. so in the community's mind, it's six of one, half dozen of another. >> let me try you out on that one because i think that's an interesting and helpful answer. it's the principles that ought to matter most here, but is the military capable? are civilian-private for-profit contractors capable of taking these principles which are all common sense principles and being as effective at implementation as the good ngos are? >> i would say that based on what i've seen for long-term, sustainable, community-driven, impartial development the principles laid out here as currently constituted, no. you know, maybe in time, maybe in another five or ten years with the emphasis that's certain hi been given on these principles lately, perhaps, but consistent with what we see in afghanistan is that if you're interested in long-term, impartial, afghan-driven, transparent development ngos are typically the way to go.
that's not to say, you know, it's 100% one or the other, but that's been my observed experience. >> thank you. and ms. be richard? >> i was thinking about this comparative advantage of ngos, and you said there are ngos and ngos, and i think that was part of the impetus behind writing the paper was that the six organizations came together and said let's put out how we do it. >> right. >> because we take great pride in that. the large international ngos, less than a dozen deliver 90% of the funds mobilized by the ngo community globally. >> right. >> and i think that probably the four of us are part of that dozen. so i agree with what mike klosson said and matt mcgarry in their response. >> all right. the whole of development efforts would be undertaken by ngos, and let's just stipulate we're talking about good ngos that follow the principles we've all laid out here in today's testimony. i think that's helpful, and i'm
inclined to agree with that. second question. given the fact that ngos are generally perceived to be apolitical, not have -- not taking sides in the conflict and, therefore, presumably more accepted by the local populace, and i think your experience each of you said indicates that's the case, i would think that the casualty rates among ngo american personnel and your local contractors would be far, far lower than that for united states military, for civilian personnel and for american ex-pat or western ex-pat contractors in theater. is that right? what's your casualty rate relative to theirs? >> speaking from the crs example, again, we w'5z in,éxn
building a ring road around afghanistan, irc is not the group to do it. >> uh-huh. >> but clearly some of the things we do, like having 98% of our staff being afghan, has got to be not just a benefit to the sustainability of the program and getting it done and also the longevity of it and our security. so you look at the prts, you're looking at the military, they're bring thing -- bringing in the young americans who are north americans and don't speak the language necessarily. some do. and it's just a very different profile than our hiring folks who started out working with us when they were refugees in pakistan -- >> and what's a your casualty rate? >> we've lost eight -- seven staff in the last several years. >> how would that relate to the military and to the private contractors? >> i think in terms of percentages it's actually bad. >> it's actually what? >> it's not a good -- what i was reading was being an american
aid worker is one of the top, it's the fifth most dangerous job in america today. so i think it's a little relative. i mean, these are very dangerous jobs. >> okay. and, mr. klosson, mr. bowers? >> i checked with a colleague, and my understanding is we haven't lost any ex-pats in afghanistan. we have had national employees who have been held and things like that, but not lost any any-pats. >> and mr. bowers? >> we have lost staff in the past. most of our casualties lately have been natural causes due to avalanches and airplane crashes. >> but i'm talking about violence. i mean, being killed. >> no. our, our rate of ability to stay safe there is remainingly high right now. >> and this question would be relevant to you, ms. cole, i assume. >> i mean, we have staff, obviously, on the ground in afghanistan, and we've not taken any casualties. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. mr. tiefer, commissioner tiefer.
>> thank you, chairman shays. i, preparing for this hearing and this day is a learning experience for me. i, with trepidation, mentioned to my students that there's such a thing as grants in the legal world, and i don't know enough to really teach it to them. i'll know a little more after today. i also want to express my respect for chairman mike thibault who could not be here today, but it's his insatiable appetite for going to afghanistan that, i think, led the way to the trip by chairman shays and commissioner zakheim which has been our inspiration. this is a hearing we wanted to know, as you do, from the ground up in afghanistan not just what does washington want to impose on the world. i'm going to ask this question of you, ms. richard, and have a bit of an introduction. and it's about the principle of impartiality and what it could mean for the future. let's suppose that the current conflict in afghanistan doesn't end with an absolute victory for one side or the other, but the
taliban -- and that's a word i haven't heard much of today, excuse me for even bringing it in -- taliban still end up in control of certain areas, they can't be rooted out. but the central government ends up in control of other areas. do you think it would be possible for your organization or similar organizations to play a stepped-up role in that situation since as part of whatever truce or arrangement there is there would be, one would hope, both sides would want more development going on. but there's not a complete end of the conflict in that sense. would there be a large role in a post-conflict afghanistan for your organization, is what i'm asking. >> i would hope that no matter what afghanistan emerges from this that irc will be able to stay and continue working. we were in afghanistan during the taliban era, and what we did was we had, um, supported schools for girls that were
hidden away in people's housesment -- houses. now, dr. zakheim is completely correct that there's a lot more afghan children being educated today than there were in those times. and, you know, we can reach far more of them and do a lot more out in the open. but i would like to hope that our folks would be able to continue working no matter what the government that shakes out over time is. >> um, let me ask, there's a -- in your report, i'm asking this for the panel, but there's only one person who need answer. there's a case study under impartiality of helmand province. i've leshed a little -- learned a little about that, i'm curious if one of the organizations here did that. or either i can just talk to up with of you about that. should i talk to you about that, mr. bowers? >> sure. >> all right. i might keep ms. richard in also. i was impressed, impressed understates it. helmand province is a terrible
place in the world not just because of the conflict there. less because of the conflict. it's the heroin capital of the world. it's not just in our war interests, it happens to be in the our civil interests as well as russia's, as well as iran's that there be agricultural development in helmand province. but until i read this, i didn't think it was possible. how is it possible to have agricultural development? i'll give you -- how do you answer this paradox? the taliban, their number one source of income is poppy growing and heroin. so helmand province is, like, a bank-all for them. how could you do agricultural, how could anyone do agricultural development in helmand province? >> you do it by the blended approach we talked about earlier in terms of where you have an afghan-led approach at the community level, and you're espousing the ideas of the more you can demonstrate the value in legitimate, lis sit production
that will meet the needs of households in that community, the more they will buy into that. you have to then couple that with the dilemma of the nature of work there is that the police are under corruption to transport that poppy production you mentioned earlier before, and often the legitimate government there has a stake in that. so we often have a parallel need to not dismember the legitimate government, but to work from a community level up approach. so you're, essentially, building development that doesn't have to exist at the government level. it can exist at the community level. the dilemma, also, is -- you know, not to be too technical -- is are you going to do harm in that as well. if, in fact, that irrigation canal you helped clean and fix, are you irrigating poppy land? are you irrigating wheat land? and really that is a very fine line on how much we, we can control and monitor that.
and a lot of it has to do with how much that local elders structure has bought into the principles of if you provide a certain input, the expectations of a certain output will happen. that wheat will be grown or corn will be grown and not opium. if opium is grown, we're not going to be able to offer the same inputs after. you are conditioning a little bit of your development based on the understanding we can help them achieve. >> now i want to put together the two questions i've asked for you, ms. richard and for you, mr. bowers. let's suppose there's a post-conflict condition and we say the taliban must stop protecting the heroin trade, and they want to impose something awful on us like the karzai government must get rid of corruption. a high level rather than lowest common demom they to have deal. could ngos play a role in that kind of higher level -- could you provide enough, if funded
enough, enough of a development engine to fill the place taken by the getting rid of the illicit economy, so to speak, and the illicit government? >> well, i think the possible service that ngos could play in that kind of scenario is the ability to reach to so many villages and to reach so many people, really, at the ground level. and that's something that i know everybody involved in this afghanistan is just really amazed by. and so i think that holds a lot of potential. but in order for us to work with those villages, we need, you know, to be able to travel there and to have it be relatively peaceful. >> the principle of impartiality and -- >> well, and also that there'd be a basic level of security. >> security. mr. bowers, what do you think about the possibility in a post-conflict situation? >> well, in reality that scenario is occurring right now. in fact, in many places in afghanistan where you have de facto taliban control of
districts most of our staff would already have some sort of dialogue with them in terms of how permissible will it be for us to do x, y and z? and there are many red lines there we have to morally deal with. you know, if it's a program that focuses on maternal/child health care, how far are they going to allow us to work with women's groups, etc. you know, in terms of working at a higher level, most of the agencies at this table would agree it is our goal to support the afghan government and their strategies that they set at a national level, and that involves the ministry level. so we do recognize that good community-led development cannot be sustained without proper governance at some role and level and that we still need a functioning state organ. >> thank you. my time's up. >> thank you, mr. tiefer. mr. henke, commissioner henke. do we have someone who wanted to
quickly respond? yes. >> just briefly, one of the things we observe in the field is farmers aren't growing poppy because of traditional experience with poppy, because they love it, because there's a culture of poppy growing, they grow it because it's generally profitable, and they're extremely risk averse. and if you grow poppy, a poppy dealer will advance you seed and tools and fertilizer on credit. one of the problems that we see with some of the stabilization programming which is cash for work driven, let's give these farmers cash for work right now so they don't grow poppy, what happens is somebody from the household comes up, does the cash for work project while the rest of the family stays home and grows poppy because they know it's here today and gone tomorrow. so in the answer to your larger question, you know, if there's a real emphasis on alternative livelihoods, on licit development, these principles, again, hold where you have to be planning for what is this farmer going to be doing next year, in two years, in three years, why are they growing this stuff in the first place? the farmers need to be confident
we're incredibly destitute, we're poor, i have a family of 12, i'm not going to do your cash for work project and stop growing poppy unless i know there's some plan for the year after, and i think that's one of the advantages ngo can bring. >> thank you very much. commissioner henke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. cole, in your statement you mentioned the fact that private actors implementing development programs, private contractors are muddying the waters which lead to legitimate questions about the accountability role and conduct of these for-profit entities. could you each just give us your response or general sense, does on the contracting side when we have a implementing organization for aid implementing a project, do we have the right public accountability mechanisms in place, the right oversight mechanismsesome so take a step out from are your ngo role, but in your experience working near
and with private implementers for aid projects do we have adequate oversight of their activities? do we have enough insight into the outcomes from their projects to be effective, ms. cole and others? >> um, well, i would say probably the umbrella answer to your question is, no. on experience side i will speak only on rule of law. we know when we try to look at the contractors that are providing police and police assistance in afghanistan that the information they hold is, you know, proprietary. you cannot get -- >> okay. >> -- the proper information that you need to even understand and conduct any oversight. >> like what kind of information? >> budgetary information, what are their, you know, what are their budgets? i mean, very simple questions. because they have, it's proprietary information.
>> okay. >> so it's difficult. we just did a study of police operations in the most post-conflict states, and we could not get any of that information. now, you would argue is that development? well, i think it is development of the security forces that these people need for, to operate. so i think that's a pretty good example. >> yeah. and these are public, private companies implementing -- >> yeah, correct. ba, etc. >> okay. mr. bowers? >> i certainly do welcome more oversight. i think at the nonprofit world even here in the united states is buckling under the issue of having clear oversight either at the state or federal level. in afghanistan itself there are a series of initiatives -- >> excuse me, what do you mean by buckling under? i don't follow that. >> well, in terms that even from my experience we often don't know how to communicate back to the public our accountability in terms of what we do with either private money or, certainly, when government gives us a
grant. but many be terms of oversight -- in terms of oversight of contractors in afghanistan, i think the fault lines there have usually been on the expedient nature of when they have to complete something by date and their burn rates. which causes a lot of, it looks like short circuiting in their own internal compliance systems and ability to regulate fraud and waste. >> what does that mean by -- what do you mean by short circuiting? >> often these contracts, i mean, usually they're very high-value contracts and under 12 or 18 months. and so really they're jumping through the hurdles to to get these roads built and power plants built in quite a short time span. >> so speed dominates. >> speed dominates. >> and there's an accountability trade-off there is your point? >> we see that a lot and then, of course, just the turnover rate in terms of their own oversight from usaid or the embassy is quite high. >> right. mr. klosson.
>> we certainly, as i mentioned in my remarks, welcome increased accountability and monitoring and evaluation. i don't have a sort of independent view on the private side. >> okay. >> mr. mcgarry? >> i think in answer to your question generally, no, and i think it's partially a function of the nature of assistance mechanisms versus acquisition mechanisms. where there's a great deal of oversight and, conversely, usaid has a lot more control over a contract. they can change geographic location, they can, you know, completely shake up the entire project and tell you to go this way or that way. but a lot of the inherent nature of these contracts is that a lot of the success or failure is not judged on impact, it's judged on how many metric tons of seeds we distributed. not whether they got planted, germinated, distributed through three strongmen who kept 75% to themselves whereas a cooperative agreement there's a lot less control, the monitoring and evaluation does tend to be much more focused on impact. the teachers retained what they
learned and so forth. >> okay. ms. richard? >> you know, our country directors have explained to me, and this is over several years now, is that, you know, contractors will subcontract, subcontract, subcontract and everybody gets a cut, so by the time you get to where the project's being carried out, there's very little money being left. but i imagine you're all much more expert on this than i am. what i fear for is in be washington when these big stories hit the news that, you know, billions wasted in afghanistan -- >> right. >> -- it undercuts our ability to raise money and to continue holding the interests of americans in the interplease that we're involved -- enterprise that we're involved in. >> okay. >> so we, and i think that's, that's -- it really bothers me, and that's why i've tried to get the press interest in covering some of the positive stories, but that's not really news. we have a bunch of us, you know, we try to go to the hill together, these ngos.
>> right. >> and we tryied starting a few years ago to get more attention from the various oversight bodies to -- looking at the comparative advantages of these different methods of doing reconstruction and development in afghanistan. and so we were supporters of senator lautenberg creating the special inspector general and afghan reconstruction. and that has not panned out well at all. so i feel like apologizing that this hasn't been a success. >> and why is that? >> i don't know why, but i know why we were behind it was because we felt we could be an open book, come look at us. and that's also why i believe that the call, one of my co-panelists put forth for general accounting, government accountability office review is also something we would welcome. and that's why we welcome your having this hearing this morning. >> right. >> because we want to talk about it. >> on this issue of comparative advantage, i want to ask each of you in the situation that we're
in presently in afghanistan, what are the comparative advantages of doing, let's call it development, call it stabilization, i'm not sure where there's a bright line there, but what are the comparative advantages of doing development-like work with a prt, many the prt model and the prt space? any comparative advantages to that? mr. bowers? you've each talked about comparative advantages. >> be i can point one thing out -- i can point one thing out which is that the american military representatives and troops were very frustrated that they were being expected to do everything. and they looked to the civilian side of the government for help, and they weren't getting it. >> government-civilian? is yep. >> and so now they have a lot more attention and resources from the civilian side, but our point is that's, perhaps -- >> you say government side.
there are too many governments around here. are you talking afghan government or u.s. government? >> >> u.s. government. that i know in talking to members of the military, they were very frustrated they felt the civilians weren't showing up, and now with the prts there's much more of a u.s. government departmental civilian presence. but what we're challenging is the whole prt approach. >> so what's the comparative advantage? i'd like to hear, if there is one, one or who of them. >> i would say a comparative advantage for prts is in the areas of police training, mentoring, local security force, capacity building. that's not something, i don't think, any of us on this panel would do. so if anyone's going to do that, it makes sense to be the prt which is down at the provincial level. i think for the longer-term development we're talking about they don't have a comparative advantage if for no other reason that they tend to be there for a year, and that's not enough time to do what we're talking about here. >> okay. many klosson -- mr. klosson, any
thoughts on this? >> the longer-term development work at the grassroots level is best done by ngos. >> so what i'm hearing is very limited. >> for just in terms of development for prts? i think very limited, yes. >> right. mr. bowers, do you want to say something? i've got to wrap up in about 30 seconds. >> the comparative advantage is they speak from authority, and they represent at the very field level an authorized body that most people respect, at least the licit people we want to respect. so often they can create some stabilizing effects if led well by their local commander with governments there that are failing. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. i'll recognize myself for eight minnesotas. eight minutes. and, first, i'd like a shorter answer if. if you need to give a longer answer, do it at your own peril. are you, ms. richard, involved in nation building? is your organization involved in
nation building? who wants to start? mr. bowers? are you involved in nation building? >> in terms of capacity building and building infrastructure for communities, yes. >> mr. klosson? >> if it's about strengthening afghan institutions, yes. >> mr. mcgarry? >> i'd say in the same sense we are in be other countries around the world, yes. >> ms. richard? >> i'm not going to disagree with those guys. [laughter] >> how about you, ms. cole? >> the usip is also doing nation building in the afghanistan. >> who is? >> >> usip is also doing -- >> right. prt involved in nation building, ms. cole? >> i think prts are trying to be involved in nation building. >> right. l why do you think it's so difficult for us to say that we're involved in nation building, ms. cole? >> um, us as a country?
>> yeah. >> um, because i think it carries a lot of baggage, and it's a term that's been bandied about in many wayses. ways. and there's not a political consensus behind nation building. >> okay. i'm going to have to report a real bias. i love ngos, i'm huge fans of yours. i cannot even be impartial, but i'm going to try. because i love the fact -- i'm a former peace corps volunteer. i just have a general sense that you reach people, you listen to people, you're doing more what they need. but there are criticisms. and one of them is how, how do we measure? some of what we ask you to do is hard to measure even though you're involved in capacity building, i mean, empowerment, democracy training, institutionalizing, getting people to realize they can poke their head out of the ground and make a suggestion, and it won't
be ripped off, and can they can ask their neighbors what they think, and you can build consensus. that's something we spew tyly do -- intuitively do, but overseas in some places that's foreign. but you do it. how do away measure it? mr. bowers, how do we measure itsome. >> we have a very clear set of definitions of metrics on how we do that at mercy corps, and, in fact, we're employing that on a global level. there is always donor reporting. donors like to see outputs, donors like to see results. rarely do they ask what the impact is. it's the impact that most of us with character will try to achieve was that is where you see the longstanding, sustainable effect. and many cases what you're doing is unless you have a horizon of time that exceeds, say, two years, you're really not going to measure impact. you're going to measure results that are achieved. there are and whether or not the results stick, whether or not the results have changed
behavior of population-based effect is the key dilemma of our industry. and all ngos are faced with that dilemma. but in terms of how do we do it at a very pragmatic level, we always create a set of indicators on how we're going to at least get result-based. >> rather than having each of you give me a long answer, mr. bowers can just elaborate more and tell me where you agree or disagree. >> so give me an example of something that would be a measurement. >> one measurement right now, for instance, a very specific example is five years ago we created a microfinance institution in kabul to serve women through credit, so if that is not a self-financing entity by 2014, we probably have failed. and there are a lot of failures out there right now. so that measurement right mow is institutional -- now is an institutional-level measurement of ability to finance itself. >> but say rule of law. how would you determine a
measurement on rule of law? >> well, in the culture of afghanistan if elder has not shot some other family member in an informal justice system, a rule of law measurement, i would think, is a judicial system that is actually performing the way it's set up by the constitution. >> how would you all elaborate or disagree to the answer mr. bowers gave? is. >> i think one thing is to distinguish between measurement with regard or to a particular project and then sort of a broader context. so with project-specific type measurement, you know, for example in health interventions, you're looking at increased coverage and how many more local, say, community health lives are providing that coverage than was the case for the baseline. the broader perspective is can you eventually leave the community, and they can take it over? i think the broader impact of actually building self-sustaining institutions is something that's harder to measure, means a number of years, and you also have the question sometimes of
attribution. children have seen this in afghanistan where a number of years ago we were doing health package service provision and three years ago some of the local ngos started taking them over, so we no longer provided that. i think that's impact. >> okay. let me ask you, mr. mcgarry and ms. richard, to respond. cerp money is money that commanders in the emergency response program. and, you know, thank goodness for people like petraeus that realized it wasn't just finding in iraq al-qaeda and other dissidents, terrorists, but to realize that they had to start to be involved, frankly, in the nation building. is there a danger that when the military does it, people then look at anything where development is taking place as a
military instrument and rather something nonmilitary? ms. richard -- mr. mcgarry, you go first. >> i think there is a danger in that. i think it can be overstated. i mean, i think a lot of times, you know, communities, you know, assume that our money is coming from the u.s. goth. you know, they -- government. they know we're an american catholic organization, so there are risks involved. the degree to which -- >> catholic organization in a muslim -- >> in a muslim country, yes. and a very devout, conservative muslim society. so i think with cerp there is a danger then all development assistance gets tainted as being somehow party to the conflict, but there's also the risk that if it's done, again, not for development means, if it's done largely for force protection, if it doesn't work out well just as if development is done badly by an ngo or contractor or whoever else, it then becomes that much more difficult to do effective development for the next organization, be it an ngo, the
military or whoever. >> but i do have a sense, and it's probably not standardized, that some of the military try to use the model that you all use. ms. richard? is. >> well, if matt gives the kabul-based answer, i can give the washington, d.c.-based answer which is we have a double standard in our programs in that funding for the agency for national development done by development experts is tied up in all sorts of checks and balances that have been imposed by congress to prevent waste and fraud. and the cerp money is subject to none of that. >> yeah. you have no disagreement with the commissioner on that. um, thank you very much. and i made my best effort to be aggressive. mr. dixon, are you -- our fellow commissioners have invited you to participate, and we thank you. >> thank you, sir. and good morning to you all. i share a high regard for the work that you and your personnel
do around the world. and i'm mindful this morning as we meet here that one of the mandates for this commission is to focus on waste, fraud and abuse. and i, in preparing for this, i -- mr. bowers, i read your statement for record, and i'd like to bring up one example that you cite, but then i would like to then have you respond and then the other witnesses respond as well. in this example you're referring to southern afghanistan, 2008, where usaid awarded the global development alliance awarded a $2.1 million grant for agricultural development, and then subsequently the u.s. government awarded a $300 million grant to another organization for agricultural development in the same area. and in that case it, ultimately, led to the payment of farmers to work in hair own fields -- in their own fields. so in that sense the u.s. government was with competing
with itself for limited resources of nongovernmental organizations. and we found in other places that competing programs can contribute to waste and inefficiency. the question is, how do we avoid that? we talked -- in your opening remarks, you talked about the right actors and the right goals. you talked about aligning funding with goals. the question is, who does that? how with ngos and with usaid and the military and these kind of contingencies, who is responsible for kind of, like, the architecture, the strategic plan and making sure that, hopefully, all the arrows are pointed in the right direction? >> in the ideal world, it would be the host government either at the provincial level or their capital level depending on the complexity of that environment. afghanistan, all rules are off, essentially. in terms of intercoordination that most ngos would normally find in the development context are simply extraordinarily difficult to accomplish.
i mean, the panel is here representing organizations that routinely meet to at least share some of that. in some cases the u.n. leads that cause where the government is either too weak or nonexistent. and in some cases we have seen in other places you may share that information with a military force such as a prt. often we would share that with the prts. frankly, there are so many actors with competing interests, and contractors are one of these actors that unless they complete that deliverable, they won't be reimbursed. so they don't really care at the end of the day if that farmer's been disincentivized to actually do something voluntarily because that's a data point they have to accomplish. so their aotr, the usaid officer may not even be aware that mercy corps already has a pre-existing program to support that initiative. so i would say there is a donor requirement that they collaborate and coordinate that, but again, like afghanistan
where you've seen an exorbitant amount of money really flowing into only three different regions of the country, it's extraordinarily difficult to crystallize who's in charge. the governor's office is either incapacitated or lacks the ability, and then often lacks the sense of how to get all those actors together. >> thank you. mr. klosson? >> i would agree. if the afghan government could take this on, that's the place to do it. from your example, it sounds like even on the part of the u.s. government, it's not taking place, and it would seem to me you need sort of an interagency mechanism both in the field through the mission, but also back here in washington to make sure that what, the work that's being done is aligned and, certainly, you don't have that duplication. >> mr. mcgarry? >> i'd agree with mr. klosson. again, at the village level it's basically impossible for us to duplicate someone else's efforts because these are small villages
>> it's experiencing the same kind of disarray that we've seen in other places. so it's really a serious problem. >> thank you. my second question focuses on time. we've heard a lot of discussion this mind with regard to the long-term and short-term and that by the ngos bring for the long-term. contingencies by definition are supposed to be short-term. and yet in iraq and afghanistan we find the tremendous amount of time has passed. for the future though, in terms of planning resources for contingencies, the role of the mayor kelly, the role of usaid and the role of ngos, how do we as a country plan for and prepare for short-term contingencies, how does that change the equation with regard to your role versus that of a military and a.i.d.? i would just as go down the line starting with ms. cole.
>> you ask a typical kosher. i think you see the guidelines that we produced in this working group that you will see we recommended that the inner action and umbrella for and you have some kind of interface to interface with a combatant commands i in the very short-te. and so that's one recommendation. it's not going to solve everything. we do need a more predictable interagency process. and i think that the military and others have recognized that they can't just plan and abstract. they need to consult with the organizations here and elsewhere that have some very, very specialized skills and will allow them not to have to repeat and duplicate their skills. >> thank you. i have just a minute left of my time, so perhaps not all but if anyone has a comment, ms. richard? >> you know, in international
affairs budget there's a couple of accounts that are supposed to be used for responding to continue cities internationally. one is there's a regular refugees assistance accounts, at the state department is also an emergency refugee and migration assistant account that can be tapped in within and it is but a refugee crisis happens. at the agency for international develop and there's the fun for the office of foreign disaster assistance, international disaster assistance. that tends to get oversubscribed because there's only one account so that is used for promoting disaster prevention and readiness overseas, the first thing that goes out the window. responsibility, response to natural disasters, responding to complex to manage emergencies such as in afghanistan. i talked about in my testimony that funding has been used with humanitarian crises in parts of afghanistan. and also a.i.d. takes the lead a internally displaced persons all around the world.
so in my mind there ought to be more funding for contingencies, but as you'll know that usually the first thing cut from the budget. >> thank you. >> go to doctors like him. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. ms. cole can you mentioned libya. and, frankly, apart from the factor commission is think about lessons learned, for the future, not just afghanistan and iraq, to me that the nightmare. we decided to go into libya very, very quickly. we still haven't decided how we are going to stay in libya, and that we are talking about planning. i'd like to hear from you whether this administration and our government has in fact changed its processes at all in terms of the kind of issues we're discussing as it looks at libya or and i like to hear from each of our other panelists what you've been brought into this conversation at all or whether, once again, we're going to find ourselves just doing it catches
ketchikan. ms. cole, could you talk about libya, please? >> i will talk about a little bit that i know. you know, we have brought together in a way of organizations under an interagency planning committee, ipc at the white house to do a regular planning. they have been brought together. they are looking at various sectors and seeing where the united states might bring resources to there. you know, it's, i think it's a very imperfect process. there is no -- >> is a better than it was the last time around? you've been in government for a while. >> i think with each inner -- >> you mean with each contingency? >> each contingency. >> god help us. >> but the problem remains we really do not have been the lead actors, and yet we're talking about bringing together assets
from across the government. >> do you think there been any lessons learned with these guys involve? >> yes, i actually think we are involved. in fact, we have teams in libya as we speak spent on talking about government planning. >> government plan i would agree with ms. cole i think at the washington level there's always, you know, seemingly another inner agency that seems to be improving it. at field level which is what i represent, very hard to see right now. >> mr. klosson speakers at the washington level there has been outreach. we service in the case with contingency planning for south sudan where both the state department and the office of disaster assistance through a number of meetings reached out the ngo community, compared notes, and something similar i think larger with the office of foreign disaster assistance has occurred with regard to libya since like mercy on the ground and in that area. >> mr. mcgarry? >> i'm afraid i was all afghanistan all decidedly couple of weeks ago.
crs is working both sides of the board but i don't know what -- to what extent the. >> ms. richard? >> we have sent teams to the egyptian side and a tunisian side of the border. and the parts of the government has been in touch with our teams. libya is an odd situation right now because there has been a lot of refugees flowing over the border the people who have come have been workers from third countries going back to them. we did do a little help on that but there is a puzzle why we are not seeing more refugees from we. we've also i know been contacted by the nato forces to make sure that they don't inadvertently bomb us. but they're not inside libya right now. >> thank you. let me switch to something else in several of you mentioned that you talked about the fact that there needs to be more coordination here with respect to afghanistan to let me ask you this though. several of you have talked about
success in educational programs and agricultural programs. how do i know and how do you know who's behind the success? is it you all, which organization is a? is it in spite of everything? how do you figure that out when you go and say, there was a number, two-and-a-half million kids in school? is that due to one organization or what? ms. richard? >> i do think everyone claims credit for the education successes in afghanistan so -- if you've heard people boasting about i think is probably a lot of -- >> would that include serve? >> what i would suggest, and one of my colleagues who was killed by insurgents and that that stands in talk a lot about this in terms of education, is that education and afghanistan does more than building a school. a lot of groups have taken credit for building a school building. but education in afghanistan is also getting the support of the
communities into school, having the parents, having female teachers so that girls can go to school because they're not supposed to go if there's a man as their future. having a curriculum that is real so that they are not just going through the motions and having their teacher associations created so that there is continued involvement in the school the way we have in the u.s. so this gets back to the question about benchmarks. you can count up out of school buildings have been build but what you want to do is test to see if our children are living in afghanistan. and i think in some of the places where we've been working, these community-based schools, there are no other, there is nobody else there to take credit. so i think we have made a contribution, you. >> mr. mcgarry? >> yes. we wouldn't take credit for the two two and half million number would only take credit for the stuff we can measure and quantify ourselves. i know in our case for the education achievement over the
last five years we've helped 13,000 children, 60% girls, achieve a primary education as part of a consortium, that number goes up to 110,000 across the country. i think this gets back to chairman shays question about measuring some of these more abstract higher level impact questions. one of the ways in which we do it, which is very straightforward, we as people and asked him over and over. we ask the same people and we write down whatever it is a they tell us. so sometimes looking at these principles would violate some of them ourselves but we don't always get it right all the time, but when we could run we ask and try to take corrective action. >> sophia, mr. klosson let me modify the question of it. does cerp giving away when you try to do certain things because i don't think we access cerp money. >> no, no, no. those who are doing cerp out of the prts who also get involved in the exact same activities, we have reserves for instance, teaching farming techniques that
are coming out of ohio and indiana in places with farmers were teaching those techniques or people involved in the schools. do you find that those kinds of activities cross wires with your activities? >> what i would say is i don't know for sure that we've encountered them in the community level work that we been doing. where we to encountered them, i think our impartiality could be called into question. >> okay. mr. barr? >> yes, they have at times. in helmand we were privatizing veterinary field unit for many years in fact. and often commanded a ride and want to do something very quick and meaningful for the population so that you what is that cap mission. they provide free vaccination to animals. so you essentially destroy the market you're trying to build. >> ms. cole, what's your impression speak with the only thing i would add here is how would we know? how would we know who is responsible for what? what is attributable to what eric we simply do not have a
system to extract lessons from the few that the military has an incredible system. they spin incredible sums to understand exactly what they try anyway, to understand what leads to what. we'll have that on the civilian side. exhibit does not exist. >> let me point out i think is fair and to some to point out, i know i have overrun my time, if we can't measure that we can't really say unless you have an explicit case like mr. bowers, but the military gets in the wake necessarily. you just don't know. military does to education. it does to agriculture. so i'm not sure, you said earlier that in effect the military gets in the way very often and you just tell me you can't measure it. how do you square that circle, ma'am? >> we have case studies. i mean, we have some evidence but in terms of a whole string of case studies that doesn't exist. i think that we can extrapolate from experiences in various sectors about cerp folks have.
>> it is more tentative than a firm conclusion? >> yes. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to start with a quick editorial comment. i think we've had this commission 23, 24 hearings, something like that over the course of our to me that i think this is the most important one we've had. i hope very much that our staff is taking note of everything that has transpired here, and enough that they are doing that. because i think there are some tremendously important lessons to be captured here, and i just think of the money that could be saved, as important as that is and that is very important dcom especially these tight budgetary times, as important as that is, even more important, allies that could be saved and the likelihood of our increase its ability to achieve america's strategic objectives in war zones. i think would benefit enormously from the recommendations that i hear coming out of this hearing so i just wanted to start with it. two other quick things.
one, i just want to fall on why began in my first rounds of question. mr. henke continued that. it sells like the consensus is really the only unique role that in your judgment on your collective judgment, the military place your that you can't play is that they played better than is the role of police training. that is a security like function obviously, and the military is a security focused organization, so that makes this. and you, this richard talked about roadbuilding. spent i was referring to the contractors. >> big contractors should to the roadbuilding, but otherwise everything else, the long-term development sphere sounds like in your judgment ought to be done by ngos operating on these principles. if anybody disagrees with that for the record by all means weight in but i will take that as a given. i don't hear anything from you by the country. >> i think the military has a role in development of the security sector writ large.
>> fair enough. and sadly i want to follow up on mr. dickinson's line of questioning. you mention in your testimony, ms. cole, that usip was called upon to play this kind of coordinating deconflict and will in absence of anybody else really doing it. you gathered at least some of the velvet parties to try to work out issues, and that's commendable. i want to ask what you in particular, if anyone else has comments on this, one of the things also want to do is to reach out to relevant actors, relevant parties in this enterprise with regard to your views on the recommendations that we've already made. we are just out with another interim report a couple of months ago. one of the recommendations we made can't because today's issue of the need for there to be more coordination in the field and in washington and among our recommendations is establishing a dual headed official one person, but dual headed who hasn't owned a function to ensure that all the relevant resources are provided in
contingency context of which the element is a big part, and also that person will play a role of national security council to ensure coordinated functions. do you have any thoughts about that recommendation? >> i think i would want to reserve judgment and look at the report in more detail. there's been a lot of recommendations about various entities that we should construct and u.s. government. i think there's one floating around of the introduced in the house i. so that each one of these should be looked at and passionate individual. just in terms of the role, in terms of deconstruction, usip provides the safe space for the organization, the entities come both u.s. government and non-government to come together. they deconflict among themselves and i think it's a very, very important role that should be kept and preserved spector in a. anybody else have quick comments? if not i'd like for each of you place to submit for the record your views on that particular
recommendation. it's recommendation 11 and our last interim report. third, a couple of questions to you, ms. cole. this is neither here nor there i suppose but i'm just intrigued by it. he made a point of saying that usage was pressing here are your own and not those of you is like p. i would not think of the any daylight between the views you express and those of usip of initially. is there? and if not, why did you say that? >> usip is not an organization that advocates source specific policies, so it is here in my individual capacity that i come before you today. my views are a result of the work that usip allows me to do so there's a direct correlation. >> okay. and also a question on usip, he referenced this i think in your statement. i know that the funding of usip has been under attack i think it's fair to say recently. it seems to be the work of this organization is more important
now than ever. can you just quickly give us the status of things in those, what's the likelihood of your being able to condemn? >> thank you very much. our funding was a without under h.r.-1 in the house of representatives. it was preserved in the democratic senate, but, of course, now there is a deal so we expect to learn what our number is today. early this week. we have been very gratified by this report from the department of defense military commanders, our colleagues here, state department, usaid and others in the support of our mission. so we hope to continue that mission for the american people. >> i do, too. another question. we kind of touched on this in a number of rounds but i don't think we have drawn it up explicitly to get your views on this, but kind of a threshold question is whether stability has to proceed develop it or develop it to be sustainable. are we wasting money and putting
contractors at risk by working in more dangerous areas? it seems to be a number of you have had some success in rather dangerous areas so what are your views about this question? anybody? >> what i would say is i think there's a continuing so if it's an all out battle field we have to be holed up in the compound, we don't do that. but if it's an area where, which is insecure but you're able to work out access to communities in this recent activity on the part of the committee for work to be done, we will do that. so in afghanistan we are in some of the more insecure provinces in connor hart for example. as well as -- connor hart. so if it's an all out pitch battle we are not there. but it is insecure and were able to gain access to the committee and they want assistance, then we can work in those areas and so in that sense it's not clear that black and white. >> how about the others, you basically agree with that?
>> yes, irc agrees. >> mercy corps does also. >> perhaps two of the question if time permits. one is, we've talked a lot about the fact, commendable fact he seems to me that the vast majority, i think 98% is they got her from you, ms. richard, of your employees on the ground in the field our local afghan nationals in the case of afghanistan. that having been said it's also the case that there can be a rather large percentage of local nationals employed by contractors, by a.i.d., et cetera, et cetera. so can you tell us what differences, if any, there are in terms of labor practices, pay differences, insurance issues, safety, morale, et cetera, what is it that, let's say the percentage is basically the same in a given area, or sane enough for purposes of comparison, what's the difference you can factor would you say, any of you?
>> in our experience, we tend to hire people fairly young. i mean a lot of our staff pashtun we'll pay as much as a contract. we don't pay as much as the u.s. government so people come to us often straight out of college. we have people came to us, we were the first job back in 2000 are still working with us because we place an incredible it is entirely the same as extremely odd and capacity. that's upsetting someone to a train in thailand once in a while. with english teachers on sites for our cooks and cleaners. we offer everybody university education. we take very care people when they get sick. we have essentially unlimited health care services, and we also are going to be around we held indefinitely. so for the same as the committee's work with us through thick and thin and take tremendous risks to guarantee our safety and security, our staff will often take significant come back as a three or four pay cuts what they could walk next door to the contractor and earn that much more money
because they know we'll be around and we will do our best to take care of them as long as they are with us. >> thank you. ms. richard, if you could quickly respond. >> i think our staff benefits if they know they're part of a global enterprise networking to the people in similar situations around the world. and we've also had examples of, for example, our national party program which i described is an example of to nearly driven reconstruction. we had a rwandan staffer went over early on in that into the three-2004 to help get started. we've had a couple of african staffers go to indonesia and minbar to talk about this type of approach to project. so our staff has the ability to become international staff and to make a contribution in other situations. >> thank you. thank you, mr. cheever, commissioner tiefer? >> part of your enterprise is an
elaborate network of networks in certain ways. excuse much yossi. there are some aspects in which you seem to border on, government contract in terms of public budgets and transparency and so forth. does usip take an interest in government contracting in, say, post-conflict situation? >> are using are we taking an interest in looking at that issue? >> yes. >> yes. in fact, we have looked at that issue both from the context from another working group but also our peace operations program. we've looked at the issue of contracting for particularly in the rule of law aspects for many, many years. i be happy to share with you some of the results of our work. >> i would appreciate that. i would appreciate that. let me press on to this is not
necessary post-conflict situation. i will ask ms. richard, i will start with you. in terms of the type projects you mentioned, several of you have mentioned, roads, power, which currently our u.s. contracting, the future plan certainly of a.i.d. is that with enough capacity building i.v. afghan ministries, they would take over some aspects of roads and power. as this becomes more and more in country thing, now u.s. government thing but an afghan government thing, do you anticipate working with it or are you still in parallel, you do sort of agricultural and stuff like that and leave what we're calling the big things,
but the smaller things, smaller roads, local distribution of power, become smaller, do you take a role for it is that so somebody else's sector? >> in the last couple of years there's been a policy coming out of the state department that i believe was prompted by a desire to avoid establishing parallel systems. in both practicing and afghanistan, starting with pakistan, to bypass international ngos like ourselves, and to go directly to the government or to local ngos. and we felt that this is, over the long term, ideal to governments provide services to their own people. but in both cases the governments were not ready to do that. in both cases of pakistan and afghanistan. and that we were in the midst of programs that instead of being parallel, were actually raising standards and stiffening the
spines, if you will, providing a sort of skeleton to support local development. and so for example, in the national agriculture program we are working with the ministry at the village level. it's not a parallel system. it's intrinsically linked to the ministry. so there's another program that was mentioned which was an education program. that is coming to an end, not because we can't continue to run it, and do a good job at a, i think we could, but because the sense is the time of the ministry of education to step forward and take that on even though all my code stepping the ministry of education cannot take that object to we've talked to ambassador about this and we talk to folks at a.i.d. about this. but i think that the pressure to shift right now is quite dominant stuff let me ask either
mr. mcgarry or mr. bowers a further question on when we oversee an electrical projects in afghanistan, we discovered quite recent that a.i.d. has an ambitious program to turn, build the capacity in the afghan public utility and turn it over to the afghan public utility to build a transmission line between kandahar city and deserts expand -- turkestan. someone about the capacity of afghan national, are they ready for this or, way down the road before they can take it over? >> i think it varies very much from institution to institution. i think mrd is one of the ministry that gets mentioned a lot as being a very high capacity manager public health is another which many ngos partner with directly and that determines amount of success with. to build up the partnership for advancing education, example
that and mentioned that it's a question of the capacity of the ministry come is a question of how that handover is done, it's a capacity building may be the most overused phrase in afghanistan, a place filled with jargon of all sorts. but when we talk about capacity building we're talking about starting today for something we hope to accomplish in a three to five years. what a lot of other people talk about capacity building, it's this process of starting today for a turnover that we're going to do in two months or six months or maybe on the outside a year. so that's exactly what happened. it's a very successful sustainable project. it could've been handed over quite smoothly in a year if we'd started planning for it a month ago. instead was are planning for it a month ago to handed over today. and so i think to answer your question, it will vary a lot from ministry to ministry to been a personnel, depending on the sophistication of the work they are doing. ..
>> we're being told that that capacity building is going to occur so fast that that timetable is possible. do you have some sense that that timetable is unrealistic? >> it is, most certainly, unrealistic especially because it's tied to different agendas and not so much on the agenda of the right institutions handling that type of handoff. i mean, for instance, if you
look at the telecom industry in afghanistan which is, for the most part, private sector-led, that does not require a whole lot of interventions from a donor assistance community. so, clearly, there are, wherein the private sector can lead, it should. i think on some of these signature projects because design of them were initially done in the fog of confusion on when and how long we should be there, often they're not, their exit strategy is very poorly conceived. >> i would just say that i think capacity building need to be sort of evidence-based and sort of baseline driven rather than sort of deadline driven, and the example that's been given on this education program, i think, is a good one. i think we all would agree that at the end of the day success represents afghan ministries being able to do what they're supposed to do, to carry out the responsibilities. how you get there is a very
different question, and you can't force the pace. you can't give somebody 12 year 'of education in two months. >> okay. my time's up, but this has been very informative. thank you. >> commissioner henke. thank you, commissioner tiefer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one of the things i'm continually amazed with is that when we drop in with large development programs, a billion for certain, 300 -- cerp, 300 million for this, 350 million for this which in the world of grants and ngos tends to be massive on a new scale, what i'm amazed with is that we continue to be surprised that we're changing the very thing into which we're drooping all that money. dropping all that money. and it seems to me the phrase you used in your testimony, mr. bowers, is local absorptive capacity. what i want to do here is just open up a dialogue with you. you have a great example in your testimony about absorptive capacity and scale.
and it's in the section that talks about the compare tiff advantage -- comparative advantages of grants. and what i want to do is kind of set it up and unwind you and see where you go with it. you received, mercy corpses received a grant through usaid through the global developmental alliance to increase grape and prom gran mate production in southern afghanistan. three-year grant, 2008, $2.1 million. your statement says the project took root and was -- i guess that's a well chosen phrase. [laughter] and was givenning to show, beginning to show results. 500 farmers were trained, grape production increased by 30%, and farmers began to find new marks for their products. then, mr. bowers, then what took place? >> well, then our focus on stability in kandahar province happened, essentially. so inadvertently by design or
action, a little hard to tell, the u.s. government decides it wants to solely invest quite a lot of money in a province which, frankly, you know, that represents far more development aid than that province should ever receive. >> right. the u.s. government who? what agenciesome. >> >> usaid. >> okay. usaid awarded a $300 million contract, i suppose. >> actually, i believe that one was a cooperative agreement, but i could check on that. >> oh, it was. okay, but $300 million through some mechanism to another organize, and can then what unwound? >> well, essentially, you know, money comes into the system, and they lack the ability to understand where in these key terrain districts which is the latest terminology now in afghanistan to focus these funds into. and, essentially, you have a finite group of farmers, you have a finite group of associations to work with, and so you can see the pile-on effect happening.
and rather than that group x going back to the donor saying, you know what? it's covered here, you shouldn't do it here, let's go somewhere else. >> right. >> the mandate is key trained district, so many outputs to show we're in part of that stabilization process. >> and your statement says they had an effective spend rate of almost a million dollars a day and effectively very little to spend it on in southern afghanistan. what happened? your statement talks about it, but i'd like you to talk about it a little bit on the record for the benefit of -- >> well, like anyone who's engrossed with how to get rid of money fast, taxpayer money in this case -- >> right. >> -- you make very poor decisions based upon that time frame that is allowed to you. so, again, rather than the normal system of going back to that donor, that u.s. implementing agency saying we need to redirect, where else can we do that, you know, they get locked into that area, locked into that farmer. because it's built into their agreements both if it's contract
to contract. >> right. the organization, according to from your statement, began to pay farmers in our program to attend trainings and to work in their own fields, both activities they were doing at no cost to the usg under our aid-funded program. since the local farmers then preferred to receive payment -- surprise -- mercy corps had to refocus our program further up the marketing chain working with more local traders. so keep unwinding the example about what happened which you lead to the conclusion that it creates a, quote, contractor mentality. can you talk about that? >> well, you know, in essence, we, we demonstrated a little more flexibility because we had so much less money to try to burn on a, you know, a monthly or a daily basis. you work up through that value chain of trying to leverage different resources. so in this case it's finding the right buyer in europe, it's forming the relationships and different technical assistance with those farmers on how they
actually package that product, etc. the contractor mentality does definitely seep into us as well. >> and what does that mean? >> it means we have a deliverable, that means the performance-based management systems which we encourage in our cooperative agreements as well becomes, essentially, we'll produce that result. it doesn't really matter if impact, in fact, isn't a sustaining impact. in this case, you know, that farmer's being paid now to do something where previously we didn't have to pay that farmer. >> uh-huh. >> so a contractor typically wouldn't be worried about that. the deliverable's important. >> but in the context of this example from kandahar province you cite local people who became used to selling their services to the highest bidder reallier than focused -- rather than focused on what you all agree is a priority which is sustainable outcomes. >> correct. and this analogy could be used in many other sectors where
vouchers are given out for 100% subsidy for seed provision and input. so the mentality then in the local community and in the private sector is why work it on a market-based system which we're trying to achieve, a sustainable development market, when money's just going to come here anyway? so the incentives are very low now than for farmers and groups to actually deal with these issues on their own risk basis. >> yeah. >> are you saying, in be effect -- in effect, that although our government regardless of party is trying to push free enterprise, in fact, we're creating or supporting a socialistic system? >> typically, you do find that in post-relief environments you have a lot of subsidies flowing in because people want to do it on an expedient basis. and the mentality there is whether or not those individuals, those beneficiaries don't have the ability to pay, many places in afghanistan have the ability to pay.
so right now the donor community and other donors as well, not just the u.s. government, are certainly pushing off the future of a privately-led sector that can capably deal with these issues. >> okay. thank you for the answers, mr. bowers, and thank all of you today for being here and for the organizations that you work for and that you represent. i applaud you for your work and the hard work of the people that are in the field. thank you very much. >> thank you, commissioner henke. we'll get our executive director, bob dickson, to ask some questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to go back to talk a little bit about ideas for solutions here. in our interim report to congress, we focused on some recommendations that dealt with contingency contracting with specific offices at state, usaid and defense. and even on the joint staff. the greater emphasis on the focus on contingency
contracting. ms. cole, i'm going to start with a question to you but then ask that the other witnesses also respond. in 2009 you testified before the house armed invests committee, the subcommittee for oversight and investigation. and at that time you were asked to comment on an interagency coordination cell at the department of state which, basically, became known as the office of the coordinator for construction and stabilization. and the idea was to replace the, quote, ad hocery with distribute planning and execution in the areas of reconstruction and stabilization. could you, please, give me your air accessment -- assessment to what extent that office has had the desired effect? >> as you may be aware under the quadrennial diplomacy and development review, that office is now being absorbed into a larger bureau. >> uh-huh. >> the bureau for civilian stability operations.
um, you know, that, that has been an experiment in progress. i think they have made some headway. they have with the help of the military in large part established a planning mechanism, and they have been able to exercise that in a couple of different scenarios. most importantly, in afghanistan they were, helped staff the last civ-mil planning exercise that occurred there under ambassador eikenberry and general mcchrystal. they have also developed a lot of standing agreements with agencies throughout the u.s. government to bring them into the civilian response corps and then, hopefully, deploy them. i think that where this enterprise has fallen short is in the deployment. they have not been able to deploy whole-of-government interagency teams that can really execute what the united states needs them to execute on the ground.
and, um, it is -- i'm very concerned, actually, that at this time, um, these other, some of these other agencies might, indeed, pull out of those agreements. because of the lack of progress. if you are going to send a team to sudan, um, you want border experts from the department of homeland security on that team. so this is not, should not be a state department/usaid/corporate exercise. it really is a whole-of-government exercise, and i'm concerned that that is not what's in the offing right now. >> uh-huh, uh-huh. thank you. any of the other witnesses on that particular point? i'm really looking for how that office fits in or, now, the new office of stabilization how it fits into being part of the solution that we're talking about today and whether or not there's a specific model either through qddr or through other initiatives that are out there that you know of that would fake the principles that you've --
take the principles that you've outlined in if your paper and then bring it into sharper focus about a specific solution or initiative that would help further that objective. do you know of anything out there, mr.-- >> i just want to make maybe one point. i think there is a question of sort of optimal organization and how we go about doing this. but i think what our paper is also talking about is a question of strategy and how you get, how you get the balance right between some of the objectives that the u.s. has and how you have, then, the metrics to drive those objectives. so i think even if there's a proper organization, i think if we don't get the strategy piece right, we still may not have the result we're thinking. >> thank you. ms. richard, you had a comment? >> yeah. i think that some of the initiatives you see happening inside the civilian agencies, the u.s. government may not be fully developed or may not be perfect yet, but what they do help point to are the gaps that they're trying to fill. and the gaps are real.
so, for example, all of our organizations have struggled with the gap between relief aid and longer term development. and when done well, you actually lay the groundwork for longer-term development at the time you're responding to a crisis or a natural disaster. yet our, at the u.s. agency for national development, at the state department these things tend to be handled in different silos. and so it's very clear to me that this is immediate for -- that there's need for cross-cutting both in terms of cutting down on duplication and waste and also in terms of roles and responsibilities. >> thank you. the next question i have deals with a comment that mr. klosson made earlier about strengthening and to having evaluation -- monitoring evaluation of these programs overseas, particularly the long-term programs. you also mentioned transparency. and i'd just like to just take a
moment to ask each of you how do you do that? who's responsible for that? how do you -- is there an international standard that you adhere to to, basically, insure that you're strengthening and monitoring evaluation in a transparent way so that the funding that flows into your organizations, basically, is well spent and accounted for? >> well, we actually, it's an area that over the last number of years that we've put a lot of emphasis on, so we actually have an office here in washington whose job it is to strengthen, say, the children's ability to do monitoring and evaluation. and each of the -- save the children, i oversee the emergency response one. we have, we have a monitoring and evaluation person so that if we feel a country program needs additional capacity to properly carry out that responsibility, we would then send people out from headquarters to help build the capacity of the staff on the ground to do monitoring and evaluation. each of our programs is, there's a methodology, and each of our
programs does go through an m&a process as it's implemented. so i think it's, we've -- i think if you look at where we were, say, five, ten years ago we as an agency have come a long way, and we much more regularly deploy it on the ground. >> any -- mr. mcgarry? >> yeah. you know, in country we face a tremendous amount of scrutiny, so we're audited once a year externally by the government of afghanistan, every two years by an internal group, we're accountable to the donor for that, we're accountable to the relevant line ministries, we do joint monitoring visits, we do joint monitoring visits to farmers' demonstration plots with ministry of agricultural representatives, we're regularly checked up on by the ministry of economy and finance, we have a technical adviser, deputy regional directors for management quality, and then we have full-time, permanent
in-country technical advisory positions for the quality of our natural resource management work, for example. and then, also, a head of programming and management quality coordinator who can get out and get their hands dirty making sure things are the way they're supposed to be. >> very briefly, could i ask either of you or, ms. richard, how does the monitoring of our country compare with other countries when you're getting assistance from other countries or the world bank, for example? are we better, are we worse, are we the same? very briefly. >> i mean, i would just say, and this is really anecdotal what i hear from our country directors, is that there's a lot more done for u.s.-based donors than there are for others. >> i don't think we -- even within the u.s. government we can't say, or even within usaid it varies from department to department. we have an extremely mutually-supportive relationship with the office of agriculture
who monitors us rigorously with some of our other, say, european donors that may be very hands-off, and other departments within usaid may also be hands-off. >> i just have one more very brief comment, and it has to do with thanking you, again, for all of the things that you do, and also for taking the time to write a paper which has stimulated a lot of discussion and, ultimately, led to our interest today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. dickson. and the full commission would also want to tell you that that paper was, obviously, very interesting and provocative and well written. i have four areas that i think i would love to cover in my eight minutes, first to say that the -- i was mostly in iraq when i was a member of congress. i went 19 times, and the first four times i went with ngo, not the military. in fact, i went the first two times with save, and they had to sneak me into the country. and i remember we were at the gate, and dod was calling up
saying, don't let the congressman get in. it was april 2003. and the same person said, i'm sorry, i can't hear you, i can't hear you, what are you saying? i was trying to break into iraq. it was very fun. but i learned more in those four times than i learned in the other 14 times i went. and i really believe had our government been on the ground like you all are on the ground, we would have done things so much differently, we would have spent less money, and we would have ended that war much sooner because we wouldn't have made the mistakes that we made had we been there. um, and one of the things i'm pretty convinced of is that you focus on what folks want. the question i'm now asking, though, is what happens if what folks want is something they shouldn't have? they don't always get it right. and do you step in, or do you allow them to make a mistake and say, well, you know, if we started this process, we've got to let it work? ms. richard, i'll start with
you. you can't ask someone else for the answer. [laughter] >> i don't know the answer. i don't feel i should make things up. >> well, you know what, if you don't have an answer, you don't have to answer. mr. mcgarry. >> um, i think it's striking a balance there, that it depends on how egregious the -- >> do you sometimes just say simply, you know, we just don't think that's a good idea, can we try to do something else? >> in everything we do, we do genuinely try not to be overly prescriptive. and so in my experience these last three years, you know, we will sometimes go to a community, and they'll say -- it's worth mentioning the first thing communities always want is security, and we have to explain, you know, that that's not who we are, that's not what we do. we can work at peace building and conflict resolution, but inevitably the first priority is always security. >> you know, that's an important thing. one of the things my fellow commissioners were saying is it's so refreshing to have you just tell us the truth whether it always makes you look good or not.
and, frankly, by always telling us the truth, it makes you look better even when you're acknowledging a mistake made or lessons learned. so, you know, you're giving an example of where you can't meet a need that's important, and thank you for doing that. that's something the military has to do with the government. >> no question. and so, you know, the next line, you know, down is generally water, education and health in some order. we don't do health work, so a lot of times we'll have to have a series of conversations in which we explain we can't build a clinic, or we can't do mobile health units. and eventually either the community comes around and says, okay, we agree to disagree, or is it something we physically can't do, we don't try to do it just to make them happy. we connect them up with somebody else who does do it. >> the grant gives you the flexibility to do what the community wants to do, it's not you have to build this school at this place at that time? >> right. so we, i mean, in our case we don't really build schools, it's
all community-based. but if -- and that's one of the nice things about grants or cooperative agreements is that, ultimately, we are able to walk away. and so within an individual community if there's an extremely volatile conflict and working with anybody in that community is going to exacerbate that conflict or throw off the power dynamic and, oops, we've inadvertently empowered this commander and he's got additional resources -- >> i get it. mr. klosson, real quick. >> sure. one example is the mortality rate's quite high, so one of the interventions to deal with that would be training mid wives. so we were part of a grant to stand up a school for training midwives which means having younger girls go to another town to be trained for 18 months. it was very, very, very hard to get that first group of girls to go to the midwife to be part of the first class. it took a lot of persuasion, a lot of discussion. the good news is that the second time around you had fathers, you
had brothers, you had parades, you had all kinds of things going on to sort of pick my daughter, pick my wife, do it. >> ah. >> so there are ways this can take place. >> thank you. great story. mr. bowers. >> yeah. i think -- although i'm told failure shouldn't be said up on capitol hill, there is failure with good intentions, and it's also success with really bad development. so often we have to calculate what's our risk, what's the community's benefit here, what's the reward? if there's failure in that, we need to learn from it then and then understand where to avoid that in the future. and there's just saying no to money that just looks wrong. >> just quickly, and i'll start with you, ms. cole. i don't want a wrong explanation. are we spending too much development money in afghanistan, particularly right now because we're trying to do too much? are we -- so that's the question. >> it's my judgment from everything that i hear that we are or -- are throwing way, way
too much money at the situation right now in order to facilitate a rapid transition. >> would anyone in the panel disagree with that? okay. ms. richard -- >> i'm not disagreeing, i just want to add on, i think we're misspending too much money in afghanistan. and also what happens when you have these countries that become so associated with, you know, american success, the success of administrations, they tend to vacuum all the money that could be spent in other countries as well. >> so your bottom line -- while you're coughing, i'm going to say spending too much money, and we're misspending money. and that's two points. let me just end by saying i don't usually respond this way, but dr. zakheim got an e-mail from someone who was watching this saying they were enjoying the questioning. and it happens to, actually, be a cousin of one of our employees, heather mercer, who
was 24 years old when she was with dana coury, i have it right. and they were imprisoned shortly after by the taliban after 2011. working for shelter now international. and the question i have directed to you, mr. mcgarry, is how do you deal with being a catholic relief service, a christian organization in a muslim world? is there a challenge that you face, and should we be aware that there's certain things you shouldn't be doing because you have a religious name in a muslim world? >> first, the first thing is just being incredibly explicit about who we are and what we do and what we don't do. so both interribly and exterribly -- internally and externally -- >> and you feel pretty much that you're able to con people that's the truth? >> again, so long as we do good
quality work, we've never had a complaint about this catholic-american organization until we mess something else up. and then if we accidentally leave somebody out of the distribution, then the grumbling starts that, oh, these catholics, they're here for good work. as long as we have a zero tolerance policy, it hasn't been an issue for us. >> great. let me just thank you all for coming again. let you all have the last word, last closing remark, and thank you for making this such an interest withing and productive morning for us. ms. cole, we'll start with you. any closing comments you want to make? >> well, i just want to thank you very much for offering the opportunity to have this hearing today. i think that you have opened up the door to understanding that there are very unique capabilities, that if we could just bring them to bear in a more predictable and efficient manner, we might prove success on the ground. >> thank you. mr. bowers. >> >> i also want to send a sincere thank you for your commission's
work, and i think in the end, um, it's in our best interests to see how we can better serve the communities we work in, but also better serve the american taxpayer. >> thank you, mr. bowers. mr. klosson. >> ditto for the appreciation of focusing on this set of issues with your commission. i would say that there's sort of when you're looking at afghanistan, there's sort of three big issues that kind of confront you. one is a question of security, one is a question of corruption, one is a question of capacity. and i think on all three counts when you look at community-based approaches, that's one way to tackle a portion of those, and i think that's what we can bring to the table. >> mr. mcgarry. >> really appreciate the opportunity to be here, i missed you when you were in kabul, so as ms. richard was mentioning earlier, we were pushing for sigar a few years ago, so we're excited to help continue to shine a spotlight on what is not working and what is working. >> thank you.
ms. richard. >> when mr. mcgarry took the oath and said, i do, that is the second one, he got married on saturday. >> wasn't i supposed to say, i will? [laughter] all grooms get it wrong when we say i do. >> thank you. [laughter] >> congratulations. >> thank you very much for having us. as you can tell, we're very eager to talk about these things, and, um, if other commissioners would like an informal chat, we'd love to follow up and do that. >> okay. >> we appreciate so much that you went to kabul, that you met with some of our staff in the capital there. and, you know, congressman shays, if you have former colleagues who you think want to talk about this, we'd like to talk to them too. so thank you for shining a spotlight on this. >> mr. mcgarry, i don't want you to make the mistake that a congressman made who served in colombia, in bogota. he took, he thought -- it was
such a memorable moment for him that he thought he should take his wife on their honeymoon and go to the boweries of bogota. and when she got there, she said, what the hell are you taking me here for? [laughter] so afghanistan is not where you're going to have your honeymoon. thank you, and with that we'll end this hearing. >> great closing line. >> it's the best advice i've ever given anyone. [laughter] [inaudible conversations]